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South African Journal of Education

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School-based mathematics teacher professional learning: A theoretical position on the lesson study approach

Duncan Mhakure

Abstract


This theoretical paper focuses on how school-based continuous professional development (CPD) for mathematics teachers in schools located in disadvantaged areas can be carried out using the lesson study approach. School-based CPD is based on the notion that teachers need real-time and on-site professional training tailored to improve the instructional practices unique to their school and classroom contexts. The paper seeks to address the research question: How can a lesson study [or research lesson] be used in the school-based CPD of mathematics teachers in schools located in disadvantaged areas? Empirical evidence from lesson study research suggests that it is an effective tool for CPD activities because it is school-centred, focuses on learner learning, and draws on the collective and collaborative experiences of teachers working in the same school mathematics department. Therefore, this paper significantly contributes to theoretical and practical debates on school-based CPD activities in schools located in disadvantaged areas, using lesson study. Further research would necessitate a focus on understanding how the social learning processes within school-based CPD can be linked to school contexts.

Keywords: continuous professional development; lesson study; mathematics noticing; research lesson




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