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Using ‘Lesson Study’ for teaching mathematical problem-solving

Researchers: Professor Geoff Wake | Professor Malcolm Swan

Project overview

Support for the professional learning of mathematics teachers is in flux. With more and more training now taking place in schools, schools and universities need to negotiate how to work together to provide this support. This timely project will develop new sustainable and scalable models of these partnerships.

The project builds on a international pilot study which explored the potential of using an adapted model of Japanese ‘Lesson Study’ to develop techniques for teaching mathematical problem solving. Problem solving is a topic where even high-performing nations such as Japan recognise a need for more professional learning.

This project will develop a trial of:

  • New and sustainable models of partnerships between schools and higher education institutions to support the long-term professional learning of mathematics teachers
  • A toolkit of resources required for the effective dissemination of these models.

In its first year, the project will introduce Lesson Study processes for mathematical problem solving across partnerships, with four partnerships studied in-depth. The researchers will also develop and pilot tools to support this work. In the project’s second year, further partnerships will be researched to help inform issues of scalability and further refine the tools.

The project aims to establish a proof of concept of Lesson Study partnerships, together with resources to support further expansion.


  • Professor Geoff Wake
    University of Nottingham
  • Professor Malcolm Swan
    University of Nottingham

  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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