The use of the research lesson approach for professional development involving a Knowledgeable Other

Christopher Robin DOWSON

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


There has been recent interest in active ways of raising teacher effectiveness through techniques such as teacher coaching and direct guidance. (Staub, 2004; Fischler, 2004). One methodology for examining and improving teaching in schools that is emerging in western settings is the use of research lessons, also known as lesson studies. The research lesson approach has its origins in Japan. It is essentially a process of professional development for groups of teachers who engage in critical analysis of the teaching of a topic or education aspect of a subject through observation with an objective of creating the most effective way of teaching the identified critical elements of the topic or education aspect. In this study of the teaching of ESL to deaf Cantonese speaking learners, data gathering includes direct observation, video recordings, discussion, interviews and open-ended survey. There is extensive involvement of the researcher in this study. This has been referred to as the involvement of a ìknowledgeable other. In research lessons the functional roles of facilitator, teacher and lesson observer are shared by the researcher and teacher. Following on from a description, the initial barriers, solutions and findings, use of ìa knowledgeable other and the research lesson approach, as a research instrument and professional development device with groups of teachers teaching English as a second language to deaf Cantonese speaking students are reported.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005



Dowson, C. (2005, August). The use of the research lesson approach for professional development involving a Knowledgeable Other. Paper presented at the 11th European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Biennial Conference: Multiple Perspectives on Effective Learning Environments, Nicosia, Cyprus.