Teachers' Collaboration through Lesson Study for Improving the Quality of Vocational Education and Training
The LS4VET project aims to adapt the Lesson Study methodology for the sector of VET in order to achieve deep and sustainable impact – that is, improvement of the quality of education – in VET schools that will apply the method. The Lesson Study approach has been found to be particularly effective because:
- it is a bottom-up approach of development, where professional development (PD) is done not “to” but “by and with” the teachers;
- it is job-embedded and focuses on teachers’ real classroom concerns in order to improve student learning through teachers’ learning of new teaching methods and changing their teaching practice; and
- it involves deep teacher collaboration when teachers actively learn through designing, teaching, evaluating and researching lessons together over an extended period of time.
The adaptation of the Lesson Study methodology to VET will be carried out in a close collaboration of expert partners (teacher educators) and VET schools, supported by formal training (an e-learning course) and mentoring for VET teachers and trainers to learn, adapt and pilot the method of Lesson Study in their own schools.
Four intellectual outcomes (IO) are planned in the LS4VET project as follows:
IO1 - Model for LS4VET
A theoretical model providing guidelines for the adaptation of Lesson Study as a method of teacher professional development and education quality improvement to the special context of vocational education and training (VET)
IO2 - LS4VET training course
An online course based on active learning, preparing participants to implement a Lesson Study in their own schools as well as to apply 21st century teaching methods and digital pedagogy
IO3 - LS4VET Storyboard and Toolkit
A complex set of guides and tools for planning and implementing a Lesson Study adapted for VET schools
IO4 - LS4VET eBook
A handbook for teachers and VET school leaders, presenting the LS4VET model, case studies of the pilots as well as recommendations for policy makers.
The immediate result of the project will be that the methodology and handbook of an effective model of teacher professional development will be available for VET teachers/trainers in a form specifically adapted to the special context of VET. The long term impact relates to the main idea of the project: instead of “delivering” professional development to teachers, the LS4VET project intends to encourage and assist the teaching staff of VET schools to become professional learning communities, by providing a complex methodology and toolkit for VET teachers based on the Lesson Study methodology that can effectively enhance teacher collaboration and, through that, teacher learning, which is the foundation of education quality improvement
The project builds on the multi-directional collaboration of higher education expert partners with extensive expertise and experience regarding the method of Lesson Study and training teachers to apply it, VET schools, and an e-learning adult training provider from four partner countries: Austria, Hungary, Malta and the Netherlands.