In response to a need for a way to teach Search Tools, the University of Michigan University Library's gateway to electronic resources, an initial Lesson Study Group was formed. Our mission was to create a lesson plan that could be included in library instruction sessions across campus.
This site is a record of our process, from the first meeting to the final lesson plan. You can download files associated with each part of the process on the corresponding pages here.
Marija Freeland, our Education and Kinesiology Librarian, read an article about Lesson Study, and at an Instructor College committee meeting, suggested using it to develop a lesson plan for Search Tools. The next step was finding people to participate in this session.
A call for participants was sent out in the weekly library newsletter and those that responded formed the initial group. The people involved had a variety of backgrounds and experience in both teaching and in using Search Tools. We found that this diversity led to interesting conversations and fruitful brainstorming sessions.
The newsletter article read:
Feedback from the Instructor College session, "Creating a Culture of Learning" April 27 showed strong interest in working collaboratively on innovative instructional practices, getting more hands on experience in instruction, and the opportunity to watch others teach. The Instructor College suggests that Lesson Study, an interactive, collaborative method, might serve as an initial follow-up. The method was designed in Japan. Instructors attend a meeting to brainstorm a particular lesson's objectives, methodology, potential examples, etc. and emerge with an initial lesson plan. One teacher volunteers to teach a session using the lesson plan and the other instructors observe the session to see how well the lesson plan functions in an actual class. At a second meeting the instructors evaluate and revise the lesson plan and a second instructor volunteers to teach the revised lesson plan. Further discussion and revision are possible though not necessary. Fuller descriptions can be found in these online sources:
Catherine Lewis, Rebecca Perry, and Aki Murata, "How Should Research Contribute to Instructional Improvement? The Case of Lesson Study", Educational Researcher, vol. 35, no. 3., April 2006, pp. 3-14.
Fernandez, Clea. Lesson Study: a Japanese Approach to Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learning /Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
If this method sounds interesting to you and you would like to participate in trying it out in developing a lesson plan to teach SearchTools, please contact Marija Freeland by Tuesday, Aug. 15.
(Continue on to read about Round 1)