The practices and challenges of teacher educators’ professional development through lesson study: focus on Oromia Colleges of Teachers Education
Teachers’ professional development is the core of educational improvement. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to assess the practices and challenges of teacher educators’ professional development through Lesson Study in Oromia colleges of teacher education. To this effect, descriptive survey method was used. Teacher educators, academic vice deans, stream heads and lesson taught were the main sources of data. Cluster sampling, simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used. Questionnaire, interview and observation were the main tools of data collection. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS version 23 and descriptive statistics such as percentage and mean values. Qualitative data were analyzed using coding, thematic and verbatim quotes. The study depicted the existences of limited practices of Lesson Study with inadequate knowledge, skills and experiences in the colleges of teacher education. However, the existed practices of Lesson Study had enhanced teacher educators’ content knowledge and pedagogical skills, encouraged teacher educators’ peer collaboration and provided teacher educators’ insight into students’ learning. Yet, the practices of Lesson Study had been challenged by teacher educators’ traditional teaching practices and attitudes, knowledge and skill gaps, lack of efforts to scale-up and the lack of commitment, encouragement and supports needed. In conclusions, the practices of Lesson Study in the colleges of teacher education had been most often superficial and challenged with predominance of traditional classroom pedagogy and attitudes. Therefore, colleges of teacher education should move from limited, premature, and surface implementation features of Lesson Study to knowledge and skill based expertise with collaborative attitudes as a means to support and promote better teaching and learning. Among the study’s recommendations, changing the traditional teaching practices and attitudes, strengthening peer collaboration and scaling-up the existing limited practices of Lesson Study could be mentioned.
Keywords: Lesson study, research lesson, studygroup, teachers’ professional development