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Teaching and Learning Research Programme

Annual Conference Papers

5th Annual Conference, 22-24 November 2004

Cardiff Marriott Hotel

Lessons for learning: Research Lesson Study, innovation,

transfer and metapedagogy: a design experiment?

Pete Dudley – Research Training Fellow

National College for School Leadership

NB: This paper was presented at an internal TLRP conference; if you wish to quote from it
please contact the authors directly for permission. Contact details for each project and
thematic initiative can be found on our website (www.tlrp.org).

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Lessons for learning: Research Lesson
Study, innovation, transfer and
metapedagogy: a design experiment?
Pete Dudley, RTF.

Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Annual Conference,

Cardiff, 23-24th November 2004


To date the project has been developing an experimental design for

research lesson study practices in a number of school settings – both
secondary and primary, and in a range of curriculum areas. These
have been within school, cross school ‘networked’ forms, cross
phases, and cross subjects.

Teams of teachers have collaboratively planned, analysed and

presented the outcomes of sequences of Research Lessons (studies)
for use by others. Use of video and internet and means of
communication feature strongly in this work.

This presentation will set out the progress the project has made to date
and share some of the challenges as the project moves from a
development and research phase into to research and development
phase – through design experimentation.

The conference presentation will invite discussion and contributions

from participants/attendees which will help inform and contribute to the
next phase of the research design.

Key words

Metapedagogy, Research lessons, Innovation, Transfer, Across school settings, School networks,
Classroom enquiry, Design experiment

Pete Dudley
07785 380646

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Overall project design
The hypothesis behind this research project is that teaching can be improved
systematically and in ways which can potentially be taken to scale, if common language,
expectations and practices are developed in relation to what this project terms
metapedagogy: sets of skills and behaviours involved in continuously learning to learn
how to teach.

Knowledge is both socialised and situated. The contexts in which teacher practitioner
knowledge is created make it hard to move around. The knowledge is ‘sticky’ (Brown
and Duguid, 2002 p 29. Hargreaves,1999) because ‘the knowledge that is produced has
embedded in it a substantial tacit dimension’ (Fielding, Eraut et al 2003, p34).
Metapedagogy depends upon the creation of processes, contexts and eventually habits
and cultures which surface this tacit knowledge and make it explicit and public. Evidence
from Japan indicates this can happen (Heibert and Stigler,1999., Lewis, 2000, Akita, K.,
2004.) . Therefore, the project hypothesis concludes that metapedagogy, developed
through research lesson study, can mobilise practitioner knowledge, enabling flow
between classrooms and schools – even permeating subject and phase boundaries.

The hypothesis is formed against a background of historical barriers operating against

effective teacher learning. These include the isolation in which teachers have operated
and learned, (Hargreaves, 2004, p 28) a lack of evidence informed practice or reform,
low professional status, and the fact that pedagogy was for many years considered an
alien concept in England (Simon,1980), and the US (Bruner,1996, p 46. Shulman,
1987). There have been notable changes in recent years but these remain the dominant
experiences of our ageing profession. (Over half the profession is over 45. 70% of
school leaders are expected to have retired within the next 10 years).

Teacher professional development has also historically tended be ‘divorced from

practice’ (Stigler, J 2002) away from classrooms. In this country it is typically top-down,
‘cascade’ events, led by advisers who no longer teach themselves. They are ‘attended’
by lone teachers who are seldom given space on their return to school to implement any
knowledge they may have gained (Ofsted 2002, p 25). In 2002 Ofsted called for the:

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
‘better definition of the effects of CPD in the classroom’ and ‘better dissemination
processes to enable new knowledge to be shared’. ( p26)

Cordingley et al’s systematic review of the effect of collaborative CPD on pupil learning
(2003) found that sustained collaborative CPD was linked with a positive impact upon
teachers’ repertoires of teaching and learning strategies, their ability to match these to
student needs, their self esteem, confidence and their commitment to continuing learning
and development. It was also linked with a positive impact upon student learning
processes, motivation and outcomes. (p 11). It nearly always involved elements of
sustained collaborative enquiry, classroom observation and joint development –
mentoring or coaching.

James and Pedder (2004) reporting on a large scale study of the factors associated with
changed teaching, were emphatic that teacher learning which affects classroom (in this
case Assessment for Learning) practices, needs to take place in the classroom.

'1. Classroom assessment for learning practices are underpinned most strongly
by teachers learning in the contexts of their own classrooms.

2. Emphasis on building social capital without a clear classroom focus does not
appear to be strongly related to change in classroom practice.......

3. We need to be careful about allocating time, energy and resources to the

building of social capital that lacks explicit classroom focus’.
(James, M., and Pedder, D., (2004). P 14)

Recent developments such as the primary Literacy, Numeracy and KS3 national
strategies have gone some way towards this with the introduction of common lesson
formats, demonstration lessons, and modelling by strategy consultants. But evaluators of
the strategies (Earle et al, 2003) have joined others such as Hargreaves (2003) and
Desforges (2002, 2004) in calling for a system which can support innovation and
knowledge creation in teaching.

Policy makers in England have responded to this by attempting to create an arena

where responsibility for professional learning and professional knowledge creation,
which has historically tended to rest with the academic and policy communities, may
increasingly come to be located amidst the teaching profession itself, in an era of

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
‘informed autonomy’ (Barber 2002) or ‘informed professionalism (Hopkins, 2002).
Organisations such as the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) and the
General Teaching Council (GTC) were created to help effect this transformation.

I will now argue that developments in teaching and learning and the resurgence of
pedagogy in recent years have also helped counter these barriers.

Four contextual opportunities

Developmental shifts in the last five years have provided contextual openings in which to
engage in this area of development and research with more hope of finding fertile
ground and receptive contexts than in even the recent past. These shifts are:
(i) the resurgence of ‘pedagogy’,
(ii) the move towards lateral networking,
(iii) a strategy for educational innovation, and
(iv) a renewed focus on teacher coaching and mentoring.

(i) The resurgence of ‘pedagogy’

‘Pedagogy’, a term which was still largely alien to England, (Alexander, 2000. Simon, B
1980) in the late 1990s, is back ‘in’ again. This is most clearly evident in the emergence
of distinct cross-curricular and cross-phase approaches to teaching and learning
exemplified by Assessment for Learning (ARG, 1999) based upon Black and Wiliam’s
(1998) ‘Black Box’ research or Thinking skills ( McGuiness, C, 1999.,) These two
amongst other ‘pedagogical approaches’ have gained increasing credibility and
importance both within the profession and amongst policy-makers (Miliband, D 2004,
Dudley, P 2004), who are increasingly convinced they improve the cognitive and
metacognitive performance of pupils, and provide teachers with components of
coherently linked practices to ‘put into practice’ in their classrooms (Black et al, 2003).

(ii) The move towards lateral learning

Professional learning and knowledge creation in this form relies on the dynamic
existence of many lateral learning opportunities and relationships (Hopkins and Jackson,
2002, Bentley, 2003, Hargreaves 2003 and 2004) which can be afforded by networks of
professionals and schools working together in communities of enquiry and development
(Leiberman, 1998). This has given rise to the development of the GTCE’s Teacher

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Learning Academies and to NCSL’s large-scale national development and research
‘Networked Learning Communities’ programme of 130 networks of schools. This has
three aims – to develop good networks, to learn about ‘networked learning’ and to help
the system learn how it can reform itself in order to engender such work (Jackson, D
2004). Within these contexts teachers, pupils and school leaders are exploring a range
of approaches to lateral learning and knowledge creation (Dudley and Horne, 2004).
These networks are also developing shared enquiry methodologies which they are using
to improve practice (Dudley, Hadfield and Carter, 2003), focused in three areas of lateral
learning: across school: pedagogic development, teacher enquiry development and
leadership learning (Dudley and Horne op cit.). Both the networked learning
communities programme and the TLRP L2L project have helped generate a school and
networked context for this metapedagogy research.

(iii) The strategy for innovation.

The DfES Innovation Unit set up in 2002, is tasked with identifying and stimulating
innovation in the system. Much of this focuses around large scale enterprises such as
networking (it has been a key partner in the Networked Learning Communities project),
school remodelling or creative partnership initiatives. Classroom innovation which makes
a long term difference is important in this context. This is where research lesson study
fits in: as a process which combines features of classroom collaboration, enquiry and
coaching with the aims of disciplined innovation and knowledge transfer. In order to
become system based, and to avoid some of the pitfalls encountered it has encountered
in the US (Fernandez, C 2002) it will require incorporating thinking which goes ‘beyond
individual and team learning to organisational learning and system change’ (Fullan, M.,
2004 p 12) into its design.

(iv) renewed focus on teacher coaching and mentoring

Largely as a result of studies cited above (Cordingley, 2003, Earle, 2003) there is now a
policy move to increase the focus of CPD in English schools onto classroom centred,
peer-led enquiry-based learning. At the time of writing a policy initiative is consulting on a
national Framework for Mentoring and Coaching (CUREE, 2004).

Much of this work is founded upon the development of school communities of practice
and enquiry, drawing on Wenger and Lave (1991) and Wenger (1998). ‘Community’ he

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
defines by members’ ‘shared histories of learning’ p 86). Reification, as the artefacts
which demark those communities but which can result in the ‘dangerous persistence’ as
they age or become redundant (p 61). Boundary ‘standardisation’ (106) and ‘brokerage’,
he argues, can help create contexts and agents to help sticky knowledge flow between
communities of practice, as can ‘alignment’ (174). Wenger’s suggestions for a design for
an education system are based upon creating improved professional learning by
 convincing, inspiring, uniting
 defining broad visions and aspirations, proposing stories of identity
 devising proceduralisation, quantification, and control structures that are portable
 Walking boundaries, creating boundary practices, reconciling diverging perspectives (p

An approach such as research lessons helps address Wenger’s ‘challenge of design’

which he sees as ‘

‘to support the work of engagement, imagination and alignment' (237)

In order to create portability, the Research Lesson (RLS) approach incorporates

additional elements of knowledge transfer approaches which are designed to overcome
the potential problems of: persistence, reliance on shared history, shared experience
and community membership which are inherent in Wenger’s model.

RLS deliberately harnesses a Japanese concept - the concept of ‘ba’ (Nonaka et al

2002) which, through discipline as well as design, enables the strategic location and
relocation of structured exploratory reflective problem solving and innovation. So
organisations can react swiftly to innovation needs across skills sectors, business fields
or localities - because they have structures and processes for creating such problem-
solving teams and workforces familiar with and skilled in using them in different settings.
Such teams are often created specifically for the purpose – brand new communities with
no shared histories or reified practices other than those of the structured enquiry process

Jugyoukenkyuu or ‘lesson study’ is a manifestation of this concept in Japanese


Research Lesson Study

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
The TIMMs study first stimulated US in ‘lesson study’ (Heibert and Stigler,1999., Lewis,
2000, 2004). Teams of teachers identify an aspect of their teaching which is likely to
have an impact on an area of need in pupil learning. They spend between one and three
years working in groups, planning interventions which may work, closely observing these
‘research lessons’ deconstructing and writing up what they learn – from failures as well
as successes (Wilms 2003). At the end of a cycle of studies they may teach a ‘public
research lesson’ before an audience of peers from local schools and colleges in order to
share the practice and widen the critique. It can be a citywide event (Watanabe, 2002).
These studies are widely read by Japanese teachers who contribute more than 50% of
the educational research literature produced in the country (Fernandez, C., 2002). Most
Japanese teachers would expect to be involved in at least one network or community of
colleagues working on a research lesson question at any one time.

Lesson study has been developed in a number of locations in the US over the past
seven years. It is also used in the IQEA and Networked Learning Communities projects
in England.

Developments in England prior to the ‘Metapedagogy’ research.

In formulating an approach to ‘lesson study’ in England, it was necessary to take

account of:
- what theory could contribute to the design
- lesson study processes in Japan
- the attempts to develop from the Japanese model in the US, and
- forms of collaborative classroom enquiry and coaching models in the UK which
strongly reflected theory, elements of lesson study which could also be said to be
successful in changing teacher practices.

These included approaches to joint lesson planning, jointly observed teaching, and
collaborative deconstruction which worked, Partnership Teaching approaches developed
in the 80s and 90s, facilitated and specialist coached intervention (Essex County
Council, 2000) and data from the studies used in the 2004 EPPI review of CPD (in
progress). It led to a clear distinction being drawn between monitoring, demonstrating,

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
coaching and partnering for innovation and refinement. A model constructed from these
was used in the first year to formulate Phase 1 of the project outlined below.

What the RLS metapedagogy project is attempting to find out – and how
The project has three phases which are set out in table 1 below.
Table 1. Research Lesson Study Project Phases
Phase Questions How
1 What should a research lesson study Concurrent:
design look like, aimed at promoting 1. Literature review
03 - 04 teachers learning to learn-how-to-teach, 2. Pilot project with schools:
and based upon best available Representing a cross section
evidence and knowledge about the Primary and secondary phase
educational context, as well as working both within and away from
demands upon and knowledge about: networked contexts
learners and learning, Focusing on a range of subject areas.
teachers and teaching, Starting with an initial design based upon
curriculum, available knowledge.
pedagogy, Provided with high quality information,
schools, training, equipment and residential
schooling opportunities to share and reflect upon
and the system itself? practice.
2 Does research lesson study add Construct a design experiment to study the
04 -07 distinctiveness and leverage to school use of research lesson study in real
or network based teacher learning and ecologically valid locations with minimal
improvement? What factors support and support, other than that offered by the initial
inhibit such developments? What artefacts, processes and behaviours.
languages or behaviours, if any, emerge
as distinctive and critical to such Create baseline measures and collect
teacher learning? What artefacts and qualitative and quantitative data over six
processes and habitual behaviours will terms with mid-term analysis after one year.
best promote continuous or recursive Data to be collected from stratified cross
cycles of learning to learn-how- to- sectional sample of professionals and
teach? How are such processes best pupils, schools and networks.
led? Feasibility study??
3 What can the system learn from this Policy papers, incorporation into national
05 - 07 research and how might any findings of and regional teacher learning programmes,
note best be disseminated and specific artefacts (handbooks, toolkits,
implemented? examples and practice exchange – online
and other formats.

Phase one
The Research Lesson Study (RLS) metapedagogy project has spent one academic year
working with teachers in schools in a number of networks of schools across England to
design an initial approach to research lesson study for English schools in 2004. The
group has conducted development work in schools and attended four residential
seminars aimed at elucidating designs from theory and emerging school based

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
experimentation - producing a toolkit for research lesson study, supported by examples
of practice. A review of the literature and initial analysis of data collected to date (over 65
research lessons, a number of video presentations of practice and development over a
sequence of research lessons, interview transcripts and focus group data) has led to the
identification of the following as essential components of research lesson study.

Ten components of research lesson study (from ‘Getting started with research
lessons’ (2004) See appendix 1.) A sourcebook for practitioners.
1. Ground rules for working in joint research mode
2. Use of case pupils, (3 or multiples of three)
3. Identification of what you want to learn and why – your research or enquiry focus.
4. Connecting with and drawing on what is already known about your focus
5. Joint planning,
6. Joint observation (and data capture),
7. Deconstruction, analysis and recording of what has been learned by case pupils
and by researchers.
8. Capturing and distilling practice / data (eg using video, stills or audio)
9. Finding ways of helping others to learn from what you have learned – innovated,
refined or modified.
10. Creating an artifact to convey this (a staff meeting, a powerpoint, a video, a
coaching guide) and using it for real.

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Fig 1. Research Lesson Process Diagramme

Res- Teach- Res-

2, 3 or more colleagues
earch Sch 1 ing Sch 2 earch Sch 1, 2 or 3
identify a question they
partner partner partner
want to answer or a
problem they hope to solve
(perhaps from a previous

1 research lesson) to do with

teaching and learning.
Identify + needs
They identify three (or 6 or 9) ment
‘case pupils’ representing Once adult
Case Case Case
2 three types of learner who
reflect differing needs. These
needs are carefully analysed
Pupil 1 Pupil 2 Pupil 3
with the
Design research lesson – process –
The lesson is designed within research
step by step partner
the sequence of what is

3 already in the curriculum

plan. The time slot for joint
observation of the research
(other than
the case
Teach and observe, gather data.
lesson element is identified. pupils) can
be involved
Case in the
Teach- Pupil Res-
Case design,
ing earch
The lessons is taught to the Pupil conduction
partner partner
whole class and observed and
and the key moments analysis

4 captured in terms of how it

relates to the learning and
phases of
experience of the three case
pupils. Pupil Res- lesson.

Within a day the teaching

and research partners
deconstruct the lesson
Res- Teach- Res-
always taking the learning
earch ing earch
and experience of the three
partner partner partner
pupils as the starting point for
any element of the analysis.

A record is kept of: Deconsruct/record

6 What the each learned for
specifically for themselves
but also for the whole school.
Video is powerful.
Study Sequence of research
The network’s RLS enquiry
Lesson Data and analyses
leader works with the The schools RLS enquiry team review data

7 partners or other partners to

identify the focus for a new
research lesson design
from a sequence of research lessons in
order to draw inferences, generate
hypotheses and capture key lesson data
capable of translation into a 12
new context
Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
The following ‘leads’ have also emerged from the data so far in terms of apparent
efficacy of research lesson study.

 Research Lesson Study (this model) is proving (to project members) to be a powerful
and replicable process for innovating, transferring and improving teaching and learning

 The process has been developed and used successfully in the core subjects in Key
Stage 3 in schools which range from those in challenging circumstances to others in
more affluent areas. Some schools consider they are addressing underachievement,
whilst others have amongst the highest value-added scores in the country in KS3 and

 The RLS process encourages risk-taking in a culture of professional learning both from
what does not work as well as what does – ‘failing forwards towards success’ (Edison, T
in Hargreaves, D 2004 p68).

 The process is being found to be useful for transferring practices across subject areas in
ways previously not encountered or envisaged by participants. It may, thus, have
potential significance in reducing within-school variation.

 The process has been found to help teachers – experienced and less experienced – to
‘see things differently’ (project member); to be able to critically view their own practices
without being blinded by familiarity or ‘blinkered by .. assumptions about [their] immediate
settings’ (Desforges, C. W. 2004).

 The process is viewed positively as a mechanism which lends itself to cross-school and
cross-phase working particularly as a result of the fact that the unit of study and delivery
is a ‘lesson’.

 Teachers in their first three years of teaching have found the process has given them an
opportunity to engage in ‘deep’ professional learning, experienced through existing
models such as the standard diet of the induction year.

 The process is providing a useful means of addressing common questions and problems
encountered by teachers in pedagogic fields of metacognition found within Assessment
for Learning and Thinking Skills. Schools are putting these into practice across the
curriculum as a result of the KS3 and Primary National Strategies.

 In all cases, teachers are finding that the value of the research lesson study is
significantly increased if pupils are involved in the process.

 There is evidence of some significant impact on pupil progress and outcomes – but this
is early and partial data.

 Schools have begun to develop cross-school or networked approaches to RLS where

they are implementing a network-wide pedagogy. This has occurred in Northumberland
and Essex. All networks plan to develop this aspect in the autumn term.

 Schools and networks of schools involved in the project are now building RLS into their
performance management policies, school improvement strategies, network
development plans and their CPD models.

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Phase 2. Constructing the research design
The intention is to construct a complex intervention Design Experiment (DE). A simple
and compelling rationale for design experiments is given by Schoenfeld (in press).

‘Imagine a theory of aeronautics prior to the Wright brothers’ 1903 Kitty Hawk flight.
There wouldn’t be much to it would there? Not until heavier than air mechanical flight
became a reality could a theory of aeronautics get off the ground… over time, theory and
design grew in dialectic, each enriching the other.

There are four reasons for this decision.

1. The starting point for the project – both contextually and methodologically -
involves the study of an artefact or design which has a prior existence and which
has itself been iteratively informed by recursive redesign. Gorard, Roberts and
Taylor (2004) remind us that ‘design sciences are .. concerned with producing
and improving artefacts or designed interventions, and establishing how they
behave under different conditions’ rather than explaining how and why things
work. A failed design is potentially as important as a successful one.
2. The nature of research lesson study involves multiple dependent variables and
data types. It is necessary to ‘construct a model which is not only consistent with
the data, but also with existing knowledge and assumptions about the processes
which produce the data’ (Finbarr, Sloane and Gorard, 2003). The most
appropriate model seems to be the three phase ‘complex intervention’ - i) initial
design based on theory and existing knowledge, ii) formative evaluation using
qualitative data and iii) feasibility study.
3. The nature of research lesson study (studying what has worked/not worked and
so engineering on the next refinement of practice) mirrors the process of
‘deliberate practice’ identified as of critical importance in ‘expert development’
(Anders-Erickson, 2002). This is a feature of teacher learning RLS attempts to
bring about. It differs only in that it is necessarily collaborative – but again
strongly resembles approaches to the development of communities of enquiry at
Xerox’s PARC laboratory (Brown, 1991) or Toyota’s ‘lean production system’
(Wilms, 2003).
4. Transfer of what has new innovated knowledge is critical to the success of the
research lesson process. In Lobato’s concept of ‘actor-oriented transfer’ (2003) in

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
design experiments, transfer is built into the design as an integral component.
This is in line with emergent hypotheses in RLS process design (points 9 and 10
above). There is also a potential for an experimental feature to remain within the
design, increasing its subsequent potential for refinement and improvement in
later cycles of analysis and modification.

There are obvious attractions and advantages in the DE methodology. There are also
numerous pitfalls. Perhaps the greatest is the need to ensure that the outcomes of
interest for the design experiment are fixed first’ to avoid simply ‘trawling’ data for
patterns and modifying methods along the way leaving no fixed point to the research
(Gorard et al 2004 p).

The second warning given in the same article is in the need for clarity about how the
design experiment is preserved, through a distinction between experimental conditions
(the research lesson) and classroom conditions (in the needs identification or
subsequent coaching). Otherwise the process is indistinguishable from other practitioner
action research.

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Fig 2. Design Study


intended function

intended behaviour

form empirical theory

test building

actual behaviour

actual function
from Gorard, 2004

Questions for discussion

1. How robust is the argument in favour of a design experiment?
2. How does the account of Research Lesson Study offered here (see appendix 1)
seem distinctive from or encompassed by:
a. Practitioner action research?
b. Peer coaching?
(appendix 2 offers the beginnings of an analysis of this latter part of the

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.

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Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
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Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
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Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference,
Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Appendix 1. A step by step approach Guidance – what we are learning about this
to Research Lesson Study (From Getting Started with research lesson study, P Dudley, 2004)
1. Identify your team – two, three or Threes work well. More can work very well but costs increase. Twos can also work successfully but there
four people with dedicated time and are fewer perspectives brought to bear..
SMT support for the Research It helps if there is either some element of voluntarism or some reason for you to work together – for
Lesson Study instance you share common responsibility for a year group, or a scheme of work (in parallel secondary
subject groups). Perhaps you have identified a reason to find out about each others’ practice – can some
of the motivating techniques used in music, art be adapted and applied in science or mathematics.
2. Set ground rules for assessed Work in role as researchers. Agree that ‘failing intelligently towards success’ is the ethos – upping your
risk-taking and joint ownership of the success rate by upping your failure rate.
Rlessons where it is expected that Agree that all aspects of the RLesson and the study are the joint responsibility of the researchers. People
learning is from what goes wrong as are more likely to risk things going wrong if they share the risk. Carve out safe areas where RLS activity
can be insulated from high stakes monitoring or performance management activity.
well as right.
3. Identify three case pupils (or They should be chosen because they represent three groups of learners in the class who present
multiples of three when you are different batches of need in relation to the lesson objectives – they may be operating at different levels of
experienced in RLessons). attainment in the subject area, they may represent pupils with varying social needs, motivational needs,
or linguistic needs. Write an explicit sentence about the needs they have been chosen to represent.
Checking out via a pre RLesson conversation, interview or assessment can be invaluable in relation to
your RLesson design.
Write explicitly what you want each pupil to learn in the RLesson(s) ie to be able to do, understand or use
as a result of the learning.
4. Identify what you want to learn and Have a question for the sequence of lessons. Construct the question so that it focuses on improved
why – your research or enquiry learning and teaching. Can we improve the achievement in writing of pupils by using specific success
question. criteria in our lessons? In a later part of the study this may become: ‘How can we further improve the
achievement in writing of pupils by using specific success criteria in our lessons?’.
Write the agreed question down in the planner and test it against the quality research question prompts
for answerability and pertinence.
5. Connect with and draw on what is It is easy to draw misconclusions from small scale studies. For example teachers who observed that
already known about your focus because collaborative groupwork can be demanding for pupils, and so can be less popular than non-
before you start your work. collaborative options – may conclude wrongly that it is not an appropriate teaching form. There is a weight
of evidence to the contrary and lots of help in how to answer the question they had really arrived at which
was ‘How can we improve the achievement of our pupils in subject x through the use of collaborative
group-work?’ A search for key texts on collaborative groupwork and talk in learning can get you started.
The RLS website suggests many. Visit www.nlcechange.org.uk
6. Jointly plan a research lesson Draw together:
based on the needs of the case (i) what you want to learn or improve in the teaching and learning,
pupils (ii) what the pupils need to learn in the curriculum,
(iii) the case pupil profiles
(iv) your RLS Question.

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference, Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Plan each step of the lesson – keep thinking alternately about the case pupils and about the whole class.
Write the sequence of the lesson on the attached planner.
7. Joint observation and data capture Think about and agree key points you want to gather data on. Record this.
Think about and plan who will be doing what, when. Write this down.
How frequently will you pay attention to the case pupils and their groups?
What questions do you plan to ask? Write these down.
Use the RLesson plan & annotator for making notes to ensure fidelity to your plan (See pages XX).
If you are using video, which sections of the lesson do you need to plan to capture?
Will you be using any pre – or post RLesson data questionnaires or interviewing of the case pupils?
When you start to use video – read the advice from all those who have failed forward intelligently – and
learned on your behalf (P ??).
8. Joint analysis and deconstruction Make sure there is plenty of time set aside for this. It always takes twice as long as you think it will. Do it
before too long – ideally within 24 hours of the RLesson.
Start each point with reference to the focus pupils. Test each tentative conclusion or hypothesis against
them. They are your touchstones. Check out your assumptions against what you got from the external
research knowledge-base – or plan to get.
9. Collaborative analysis and Explicitly agree and record:
representation - being explicit about - what each pupil learned (in relation to what you hoped they would learn) and how you account for
what you have learned any differences.
- what each of you believes you have learned
- what new practice or hunch you want to take forward to the next RLesson
- at the end of a sequence of RLessons – what new practice you have created (ie what you are
going to do differently from now on), and what difference it has made.
10 Finding ways of helping others By planning to present and coach others in the outcomes of the study, you are ensuring the learning
learn from what you have learned – doesn’t just stay with you. We have a duty to share our learning. People have found that by presenting
innovated, refined or modified. their Research Lesson Studies to colleagues, they further their own learning and deepen their
understanding of what they have learned. By taking the process and modeling or coaching it with their
colleagues, they further both the new knowledge about the lessons – the teaching and learning, - as well
as new knowledge about how to use structured classroom enquiry – the research lessons. This way we
learn better how to learn how to teach.

Modifying and amending the RLesson design.

It is human nature to adapt and change formats to suit our purposes. Research has shown that practices transfer well when they are sufficiently
adaptable to enable people to take ownership and match them to their purposes and context. This framework of 10 core components allows flexibility –
within and between them - for all sorts of adaptations to context, need, classroom, researchers.

However, unchecked adaptation and modification can lead to a point where the resulting process becomes far removed from the original design. The
10 components above are what makes RLessons what they are – integral structured professional experiences designed to further help practitioners
learn how to learn how to teach.

Without the 10 components the enquiry is not an RLesson. (See the Step by step approach on the next page).

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference, Cardiff, Nov 2004.
(From ‘Getting Started with Research Lessons’, P Dudley, NCSL 2004)

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference, Cardiff, Nov 2004.
Appendix 2. Peer coaching, specialist coaching and research lesson study: how are they different and how are they best deployed?
Some thoughts P Dudley, 2004
Peer coaching (PC) Specialist coaching (SC) Research Lesson Studies (RLS)
Purpose Generation of improvements in Transfer of specialist subject or Creation of new pedagogic
practice – sometimes creating new pedagogic knowledge from expert (in knowledge to add to existing
professional knowledge – and specific field) practitioner to coachee knowledge-base, making it explicit
transferring this on. Development (i.e. not so expert in the specific field). and public. Explicit commitment to
and use of professional dialogue. May lead to ‘expert performance’ risk-taking and ‘failing forwards’.
development (Desforges, C.W. 2003) May lead to coaching.
Features Identification of a focus for learning The focus may have been identified Focus determined by absence of
or problem solving in practice of though monitoring or whole school publicly available knowledge (ofte
one or both teachers. improvement plan. within a specialist development
Joint planning, Joint planning such as taking on thinking skills in
teaching/observation, Mutual observation – allows expert to subject X).
deconstruction and extended model and demonstrate practice and Teachers are ‘in role’ as research
professional dialogue. Often this then observe coachee. Deconstruction partners, identified groups of ‘case
will lead to the identification of a and identification of next steps. pupils’ are subjects of plans,
further focus. observations and analyses. Not
Numbers Usually pairs Usually pairs Threes plus but can be pairs
Unit of time Variable – user determined Variable – user determined Lessons, (sections/sequences of)
Beneficiary All participants equally All – interestingly the coach gets as The system plus participants.
much as the coachee (Cordingley).
Participant Equal partners. No power One partner deemed to some degree In roles as researchers.
roles relationships. Where these exist expert in the area of focus. Shared responsibility for outcome
status blindness is encouraged. Trust important. i.e. new knowledge discovered or
Trust vital, relationships develop Credibility of coach vital. not. ‘Failure’ is as important as
over time supported by action ‘success’. Trust – significant.
learning sets etc.
Formality and Can be informal/formal. Generative Usually more formal. Highly formalized using a design
culture of collaborative classroom culture experiment.
as norm.
Skills Questioning, As PC plus assessment of current Research and enquiry – good
demanded Interpersonal skills practice of coachee in specialist area. research questions, good analyses
Creating supported challenge
Duration Can be focused on short targeted As PC but targeted at specific subject or Can be confined to relevant
observations or observations of pedagogic learning focus – this will ‘nugget’ episodes of lessons being
whole lessons – either of these can determine the duration egg. maybe researched but usually a cycle of 4
be a ‘cycle’ often of 3-4. developing plenaries or whole 6.
sequences of lessons.
Capacity/capit Needs some high quality teachers Requires expertise but also generates Requires capital and capacity.
al issue to begin the process. expertise and capital
Knowledge Works best where there is a high Depends on good access to specialist Works best where knowledge base
base issues knowledge base which is coach and support materials. is thin or there are gaps and there
accessible to the pairs. Egg. is little or no access to specialist
access to some high quality CPD knowledge.
and expertise.
Urgency Not a good starter tool in urgent Effective in urgent situations where high Not best for use in urgent
issues improvement situations but speed skills and knowledge acquisition situations. An R&D end to a rapid
important to build in as capacity is paramount. teaching improvement intervention
and teaching quality grow. however – on the crest of the
sigmoid curve is a good idea.
Dependency High Low Low
on existing
Focus of Varies – teacher, teaching, pupils, New specialist skills, technique, subject Case pupils’ progress and behavio
observation whole class knowledge – teacher/pupils and related teaching
Instigation – Needs to build on trust not power.
voluntarism v Partners may choose each other.
Accountabilit The participants – and action The subject and coachee The public knowledge-base,

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference, Cardiff, Nov
Appendix 2. Peer coaching, specialist coaching and research lesson study: how are they different and how are they best deployed?
Some thoughts P Dudley, 2004
Peer coaching (PC) Specialist coaching (SC) Research Lesson Studies (RLS)
y learning set school/network
Suitability to In principle yes but relationships Yes- very Yes - very
a networked are key so difficult to start
Nuggets/ Maybe Maybe Often
Useable data No – there may be records Potentially - Participants plans, record An absolute requirement at each
or Meta-data -participants plans, records of of debrief and video etc. if made. Some stage. Outcomes (eg. Video of
debrief and video etc if made – but outcome may be used to coach-on the Study) and artifacts to be made
often confidentiality prevents skill to others. accessible to wider audience –
learning traveling. published.
Replicability Dependency on relationship limits Yes Yes – integral to the design
Ease of use High – user friendly and user driven High – constraint is subject expertise. Not user driven or easy but
formulaic design makes replicable
Ways of
safe space
Ways of
Artifacts/outc Has the potential to be but not Has the potential to be but not integral. Always – transfer beyond the
omes are integral – but can be viral. participants is a requirement.
generative of Recorded outcomes (metadata)
learning contribute to a searchable of
beyond the database of practice. Those who
context want to plan online get instant
referrals to other RLS.
Best used (a) Where the extent, quality and (b) Where capacity is low/moderate in (a) Where the knowledge-base is
accessibility of the public the specialist area and expertise is thin in the area you are trying to
knowledge-base is high. available. improve. Where you are learning
(b) Where there is sufficient high (c ) Where urgency is high. ‘on behalf of’ others as an enquiry
teaching quality in the mix to (a) In conjunction with research lesson driven approach to a network-wide
ensure improvements are possible study, where a school/network is focused aim.
from pairings seeking to increase already high (b) in conjunction with specialist
capacity by developing/innovating more coaching where capacity is variabl
specialist knowledge. or low.
Best not use (c ) Where urgency is high unless Where the aim is to create greater (c ) where urgency is high or
as a capacity building measure in autonomy and self-responsibility for capacity very low. The level of
conjunction with specialist coaching professional learning dependent specificity in the design can lead to
and closely managed. teachers who need to develop capacity developing rapidly from a
classroom enquiry practices. low base

Pete Dudley. RTF. Research Lesson Study metapedagogy project. Paper presented at the ESRC TLRP Conference, Cardiff, Nov