Collaborative Lesson Studies: Powerful Professional Learning for Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Early Implementers is a six-year initiative created to help eight California school districts and two charter management organizations, supported by WestEd’s K–12 Alliance, implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Lesson study, called Teaching Learning Collaborative (TLC) in the Initiative, was a cornerstone professional learning activity for all Teacher Leaders participating in the first four years of the Initiative. Beginning in Year 5, when professional learning became less centralized, districts implemented modifications to TLCs.
TLCs establish intimate teams of Early Implementer teachers who come together to plan, teach, and debrief an NGSS lesson. The experience accelerates teachers’ enactment of the pedagogical shifts required by the NGSS.
Intended for school, state, and district leaders, this report addresses the following questions:
- What are the benefits and challenges of TLCs?
- What was the Initiative-wide configuration of TLCs in Years 1 to 4?
- How did Early Implementer districts modify the original lesson study configuration in Year 5?
- What gains and losses have participants attributed to the different lesson study adaptations in Year 5, compared to the Year 1 to 4 model?
Finally, recommendations are provided to administrators for using lesson studies as professional learning for teachers as they endeavor to implement the NGSS.
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