Learning study aims at improving teaching and learning in the classroom. The paper describes the process of conducting a Learning Study in school, with illustrations drawn from one case study conducted in a Hong Kong primary General Studies lesson. Teachers began this particular Learning Study by selecting the topic of condensation and evaporation as their research lesson. The choice was based on the recognition that this topic is known to be difficult for students to learn. The Theory of Variation provided the team with an overarching framework for conducting the Learning Study and analyzing its results. Interviews with students and pre-test results indicated considerable confusion in students’ conceptions, especially in regard to where water ‘goes’ when evaporated. Teachers also discussed their previous attempts to teach this topic and the difficulties encountered. The teaching and learning difficulties provided the starting point for lesson planning, which used the pedagogy of variation to enhance student discernment in regard to the three states of water. The lesson was then taught and analysed, followed by further rounds of teaching and analysis, supported by post-test results. This paper will describe the process as a whole and the presentation will show video extracts of the case as it progressed through the various research cycles. The case study will illustrate how, within the practice of Learning Study, student learning and teachers’ professional development are viewed as interdependent. Each is enhanced as a result of the Learning Study process.
|Published - May 2005