Mathematics Teachers’ Views of Accountability Testing Revealed through Lesson Study

Connie H. Yarema


The practice of lesson study, a professional development model originating in Japan,
aligns well with recommendations from research for teacher professional
development. Lesson study is also an inductive research method that uncovers
student thinking and, in parallel, grants teacher-educators the opportunity to study
teachers’ thinking about related issues. One issue for teachers in North America is
the focus on student achievement measured through accountability testing. The
purpose of this article is to describe how lesson study elicits teachers’ views,
knowledge, and practices. To illustrate how teachers’ thinking emerges during lesson
study activities, the paper will outline four different views of accountability testing
revealed by grades 6-10 mathematics teachers from nine different independent
school districts in West Texas during various phases of lesson study. In addition, how
each view influenced the teaching of students, as noted by teachers during postlesson
discussions from three different lesson studies during 2006 – 2009 is reported.
Descriptions of interactions among these teachers and higher education faculty
housed in mathematics and teacher education departments at a local university and
teachers’ self-reported reflections along with changes in practice are included.


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