Possibilities of the Japanese Lesson Study Approach in Global Settings: A Comparative Study of Lessons in Germany and Japan

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  • ドイツとの授業の比較検討による日本の授業研究の海外展開の可能性と課題
  • ドイツ ト ノ ジュギョウ ノ ヒカク ケントウ ニ ヨル ニホン ノ ジュギョウ ケンキュウ ノ カイガイ テンカイ ノ カノウセイ ト カダイ

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Abstract

<p> The purpose of this paper is to clarify the potential for and issues involved in the international adoption of the Japanese ‘Lesson Study’ model, by conducting a comparative review with German pedagogical researchers of the models used in Germany and Japan. International academic achievement surveys such as TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) have shown that Japanʼs ‘Jugyou Kenkyuu’ or ‘Lesson Study’ has attracted worldwide attention. Following Germanyʼs ‘PISA-shock’ and the revelations of the TIMSS Video Study, there has been increased attention to research on teaching and learning processes (Unterrichtsforschung) in German-speaking countries, rather than to ‘lessons’ or the ‘Lesson Study’ model of Japan. This trend, sparked by TIMSS and PISA, has become what is known as the ‘empirical turn’ (empirische Wende) in educational research, leading to the rise of ‘empirical research on teaching and learning’ (empirische Unterrichtsforschung).</p><p> There are two types of ‘empirical research on teaching and learning’ in Germany, using quantitative and qualitative research methodology respectively. Qualitative (interpretive and reconstructive) research on teaching and learning has been established in response to criticism of researchers mainly applying the traditional quantitative research methodology. Qualitative researchers regard this ‘empirical turn’ as a ‘reflective turn’, and use qualitative research methodologies from social sciences, such as ethnography, documentary methods, qualitative content analysis, videography and objective hermeneutics, for research on teaching and learning.</p><p> In order to compare the systems and cultures of lessons and lesson studies in Germany and Japan, this paper compares the process of analysis of lessons in Hiroshima and Leipzig and the process of lesson study at Hiroshima University and Leipzig University, enabling clarification of the significance of the selected research methodology, which is dependent on the purpose of research and lesson analysis. Further, based on feedback on two lesson analyses provided to teachers in Leipzig, the paper considers the possibility of adopting micro-analysis of lessons for teacher education in Germany and the rest of the world.</p><p> Based on the review, the possibilities for and issues of the international adoption of the Japanese ‘Lesson Study’ model are summarized as follows: First is the task of clarifying the logic of relationship-building between researchers and practitioners unique to the ‘Lesson Study’ model, and the significance thereof in the international context and in each educational culture. Second is the task of clarifying the research methodology of lesson study. This paper suggests the importance of clarifying what kind of research methodology - quantitative or qualitative - should be selected for the targeted lesson. Third is the possibility and issues of making the targeted lesson accessible to various researchers and practitioners through lesson video archives, etc.</p>

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