Taking stock of Lesson Study as a platform for teacher development in Singapore

Nov. 01, 2011

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 39, No. 4, November 2011, 353–365
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this study, the authors were interested to understand how lesson study (LS) protocols were adapted to suit local school conditions and contexts and the kinds of problems and constraints the schools faced in the implementation process.

The authors address the following questions:
(a) What are the conditions that support the implementation of LS in Singaporean schools?
(b) Which factors encourage participation in and sustainability of LS?

The authors conducted three survey questionnaires which sent to schools.

The first questionnaire addressed the school leadership, that is, either the principal or the

The second questionnaire was addressed to the key person in the school who oversaw the implementation of LS. This person could be the vice-principal or a head of department or a school staff developer or a teacher.

The third questionnaire was sent to the teachers who were involved in LS in their schools.

The Sixty-four schools responded.
These schools included 30 primary schools, 32 secondary schools and 2 junior colleges.
Of the 30 primary schools who responded, 28 implemented LS and 28 out of 32 secondary schools did likewise after receiving training.

Implementation of LS in schools

The findings reveal that of the 56 schools that implemented LS, 28 were in their second year of implementation.
Twenty-nine schools indicated that they would definitely continue implementing LS .

The results show that in 22 schools LS was initiated by school leaders such as principals and vice-principals.


The findings reveal that sustaining LS in these schools require several important factors:
a) the school leader should provide supporting conditions for LS to take root in a school and flourish;
b) school principals or vice-principals feel that LS is able to impact on student learning and outcomes, as well as on teacher knowledge;
c) protected time for LS meetings; and
d) presence of an advocator among the teachers.

The authors' experience of implementing LS in Singapore schools shows that teachers are generally convinced of the value of Lesson Study.
However, the teachers would need a lot more support for LS to grow in schools.
The teachers would need time and space, and also access to curriculum materials, teaching resource books, assessment exemplars.

The authors conclude that there is a need for funding for resources to support the scaling up for Lesson Study within schools and across schools. There is also a need to develop a pool of resource persons from retired principals, curriculum specialists and experienced teachers to support schools and reimburse them for their services to schools.

Updated: Jan. 21, 2013