Keynote 4: Klaas van Veen

Deze lezing is een keynote van de WALS. Hij is toegankelijk voor deelnemers aan de Holland Dag. De voertaal is Engels.

Lesson study: much ado about nothing?

Except apparently for Japan, to organise Lesson study in a sustainable way seems to be quite an issue for the rest of the world. This problem of sustainability is not exclusive for Lesson study but applies to teacher professional development in general. Derived from organisational literature, the concept of organisational routines is helpful to discuss this issue. In short, organisational routines in the light of teaching refer to aspects of the work of teaching that are perceived as self-evident and functional. In the case of Lesson study, it can only be sustainable if it is perceived as a self-evident and functional part of the work of teaching. To be a self-evident and functional part, it should relate to the core of teaching. As we know from recent research on Lesson study, teachers differ in what they perceive as Lesson study and therefore how this relates to the core of teaching. This perception of what Lesson study contains, also impacts the way Lesson study is organised in schools and its sustainability. Related to teachers’ perceptions of Lesson study is also their perception of the problem Lesson study is a solution for, which also impacts its sustainability.

In sum, In this keynote I will discuss these issues in order to understand the possible added value of lesson study for teachers and also whether we can learn from Japan in this respect. In short: Lesson study, much ado about nothing?

Klaas van Veen is a professor in Educational Studies at the University of Groningen and director of the teacher education program. Currently he is serving as vice dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, where he is responsible for the quality of education. Actually, all his professional life his focus is on education and especially on how to organise and support students’ and teachers’ learning. If this was an easy thing to do, he would not be giving a keynote at the WALS. What fascinates him is that despite the many insights we have in learning and teaching, it is still a challenge to organise the learning and teaching in a successful way. Derived from Lora Bartlett, his adagium is that you get the learning and teaching you organise for. Lesson study in this respect is a fascinating way of working and learning.

Lesson study: much ado about nothing?

Except apparently for Japan, to organise Lesson study in a sustainable way seems to be quite an issue for the rest of the world. This problem of sustainability is not exclusive for Lesson study but applies to teacher professional development in general. Derived from organisational literature, the concept of organisational routines is helpful to discuss this issue. In short, organisational routines in the light of teaching refer to aspects of the work of teaching that are perceived as self-evident and functional. In the case of Lesson study, it can only be sustainable if it is perceived as a self-evident and functional part of the work of teaching. To be a self-evident and functional part, it should relate to the core of teaching. As we know from recent research on Lesson study, teachers differ in what they perceive as Lesson study and therefore how this relates to the core of teaching. This perception of what Lesson study contains, also impacts the way Lesson study is organised in schools and its sustainability. Related to teachers’ perceptions of Lesson study is also their perception of the problem Lesson study is a solution for, which also impacts its sustainability.

In sum, In this keynote I will discuss these issues in order to understand the possible added value of lesson study for teachers and also whether we can learn from Japan in this respect. In short: Lesson study, much ado about nothing?

Klaas van Veen is a professor in Educational Studies at the University of Groningen and director of the teacher education program. Currently he is serving as vice dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, where he is responsible for the quality of education. Actually, all his professional life his focus is on education and especially on how to organise and support students’ and teachers’ learning. If this was an easy thing to do, he would not be giving a keynote at the WALS. What fascinates him is that despite the many insights we have in learning and teaching, it is still a challenge to organise the learning and teaching in a successful way. Derived from Lora Bartlett, his adagium is that you get the learning and teaching you organise for. Lesson study in this respect is a fascinating way of working and learning.