Teaching standards are regularly described as a mechanism for improving the status of the teaching profession and as a means to develop high-quality teachers.
Less attention has been paid to the difficulties of fostering professional learning when externally produced standards are imposed on teachers.
This article outlines how lesson study can inform the use of teaching standards to shift the focus to centre on learning rather than teaching to richly inform national and international views on the use of teaching standards.
More specifically, this article explores how lesson study was a powerful process that developed a lived understanding of teaching standards and fostered two significant discursive shifts in teacher understanding of standards:
One discursive shift from individual to collegial activity; and second discursive shift from statements of teaching to centring the focus on processes of learning.