Learning through communication: exploring learning potential in teacher teams lesson study talk
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies. 2020, . 10.1108/IJLLS-07-2020-0046
Purpose This paper discusses findings from a four-year research and development project using lesson study in a Norwegian elementary school. There are only a limited number of studies which have investigated how talk mediates teacher learning in lesson study, whereas research has shown that the form communication takes is the key to whether or not collaboration leads to learning. Focus in this paper is therefore on the talk which takes place in teacher teams when they meet to plan the research lesson in lesson study. The article explores sequences of talk that afford opportunities for teacher learning in order to understand what triggers and characterizes these opportunities. Design/methodology/approach Data consisted of audio recordings of four teacher teams made during planning meetings. Based on theoretical criteria, sequences of teacher talk which indicated potential for learning were selected for further analyses. These sequences were then coded with respect to what themes triggered this talk and what conversional routines were found. Findings The most frequent trigger of talk affording opportunities for learning was in relation to students and more specifically different needs of individual or subgroups of students. Didactic and purely curriculum-focussed issues triggered this kind of talk to a small degree. Conversional routines in the selected sequences concerned (1) taking a student perspective, (2) discussing impact on student learning behaviour and (3) generalizing (moving from specific accounts of classroom practice to general reflection on one's own practice). Originality/value This study aims to investigate what triggers and characterizes talk with learning potential in the lesson study work of teacher teams.