The Lesson Study team conducted a lesson on traffic safety 2 times, once during Fall 2006 and once for Spring 2007. By using pre/post tests and case studies, the researchers improved student learning and their methodology for delivering the topic.
Methodology used included:
- Delivery of a pre/post test on the topic of traffic safety;
- Having small groups complete a short homework assignment on the topic of traffic safety;
- Having groups analyze several case studies on the topic of traffic safety;
- Videotaping the lesson to make qualitative observations on student learning.
Pre- and post-test results indicate that student knowledge on the topic of traffic safety improved as a result of completing the homework assignment and analyzing several case studies in groups. Furthermore, student engagement increased dramatically compared to watching a video on the subject. Students were sharing personal work experiences, gaining collective insight from each other and working as a team to evaluate the situations, identify common themes and propose solutions.
The Lesson Study program was viewed as an effective tool for instructors as it stimulated self-reflection and dialogue on processes and methods for facilitating student learning. Throughout the process instructors shared new methods for increasing the depth of learning expanding by infusing a variety of approaches into content delivery.
The group's last discussion centered on the fact that the case study-based lesson was highly effective, but that a future lesson for the topic of Traffic Safety might entail students actually setting up a worksite as a hands on activity.
Other relevant observations are that the Lesson Study Process, while beneficial for improving a particular lesson topic and generating appropriate discussion about pedagogy, took a lot of time. Perhaps another Lesson Study method could be developed in order to minimize the time commitment while maximizing the amount of time observing lessons in progress.