Mathematics Education

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Title:       Lesson Study and Curriculum Revisions: What happens in Japan?

Speaker: Dr Tad Watanabe, Professor in Mathematics Education at Department of Mathematics, Kennesaw State University, USA

Date:      Wednesday, 28th of February 2018

Time:      3pm

Venue:    H1.12 in the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science (Hub)

Tea/coffee and refreshments will be held prior to the seminar in the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics common room, G0.03, (ground floor Science North) from 2pm. We would be grateful if you could let us know of your intention to attend in order to gauge numbers for refreshments.

Since the publication of Teaching Gap (Stigler & Hiebert, 1999), lesson study has attracted mathematics educators’ attention throughout the world as a potential mechanism for gradual improvement of mathematics instruction. Although lesson study is the main professional development activity for Japanese teachers, according to Japanese mathematics educators, lesson study is also a part of a feedback mechanism to inform curricular revisions. The learning from lesson study informs the revision of the National Course of Study (NCOS), which takes place about every 10 years. Lesson study also informs the revision of commercially produced textbook series, which are revised much more frequently that the NCOS. In this talk, I will briefly present the results of my earlier study that examined how Japanese elementary school mathematics textbooks have changed over the last 6 decades. I will then present some of the preliminary findings from my current project to examine various Japanese lesson study artifacts from the 1980s to identify what influences, if any, lesson study might have had on the curriculum revisions.