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Dr Matthew Martin at the GTCNI ‘Research Lesson Study Evaluation’ conference


Dr Matthew Martin delivered a talk at the GTCNI Research Lesson Study Evaluation conference held recently in Stranmillis University College. His talk, which was entitled ‘Expertise and Ownership: Weaving Two Strands of the Research Lesson Study Tapestry’, gave an overview of findings arising out of his involvement in a GTCNI-sponsored research project studying the use of Research Lesson Study as a method for promoting, enlivening and customising teachers’ programmes of professional development.

The research project involved volunteers from thirty different primary and secondary schools, who developed, executed and evaluated schemes of work according to the principles of Research Lesson Study, a professional development technique adapted from one commonly used throughout Japan. The method gives teachers the time and authority to conduct action research in their own classes with the support of colleagues to find out what works best for their own pupils. It can be a form of ‘situated learning’ at its best, giving teachers ownership of their own professional targets.

Initial findings suggest high levels of satisfaction among teachers, school managers and pupils. This method moves professional development in the direction of the recently outlined PISA priorities which state, ‘Countries that have succeeded in making teaching an attractive profession have often done so …[by] giving teachers responsibility as professionals and leaders of reform. This … helps teachers to become innovators and researchers in education, not just civil servants who deliver curricula’ (Pisa In Focus, May 2012).