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Bronxville Teachers Observe, Analyze Students At Work To Improve Lessons

Students at Bronxville Elementary School are being observed by teachers as part of a long-term, collaborative professional development to improve lessons.
Students at Bronxville Elementary School are being observed by teachers as part of a long-term, collaborative professional development to improve lessons. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Teachers at Bronxville Elementary School have taken part in a long-term professional development called "lesson study" by working collaboratively to plan, observe, refine and analyze their classroom lessons.

The method has been used in Japan successfully and is credited and has been credited for the improvements of the country’s math and science program, said a release.

“They’re making improvements based on what they’re noticing and then they’re re-teaching the lesson and determining whether the students are more successful,” said Assistant Principal Adrienne Laitman said.

The way it works is one member of the group, a teacher, designs a lesson, teaches it to his/her students while other teachers observe.

When the group reconvenes, the lesson is refined based on what worked and what didn’t work before a second member of the group teaches the lesson.

“It’s a very elaborate process,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mara Koetke.

"It's recommended that teachers do a cycle of lesson study twice a year. “This is a focused, pointed opportunity for teachers to learn from each other and then refine something, which doesn’t happen as much as people might think.”

Koetke said Lesson Study is not meant to evaluate teachers, but it’s more about establishing a culture where visitation is welcomed and feedback is encouraged and accepted.

She said the innovative approach to teaching establishes a commitment among teachers to improve on important, cornerstone lessons.

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