What is Lesson Study?

Lesson Study is a Japanese model of teacher-led research in which a triad of teachers work together to target an identified area for development in their students’ learning. Using existing evidence, participants collaboratively research, plan, teach and observe a series of lessons, using ongoing discussion, reflection and expert input to track and refine their interventions.

The Japanese Lesson Study model has been advocated in the UK for some time both by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and its predecessor organisations.

The outline of the approach is as follows:



The Evidence

A 2014 systematic review (Wai Ming Cheung, 2014) looked across 9 quantitative studies and concluded that Lesson Study and Learning Study appear to be beneficial to student outcomes.

The Education Endowment Foundation conducted a large trial which showed no statistical impact – TDT’s CEO discusses issues with the findings here.

Godfrey et al (2018) conducted an evaluation in UK schools and found positive impact.

Are you getting the support you need with Lesson Study?

When Lesson Study is implemented incorrectly, there is a risk of adding to an already heavy teacher workload, demotivating teachers and failing to make any difference to pupils’ outcomes.

Click here for our catalogue of courses, training and events to support effective implementation of collaborative professional learning.

What Schools Say

TDT's support for schools

TDT's research library for teachers