Developing a Theory-Driven Lesson Study: A Research Project

Dr. Ronda introduces the teachers to the MDI framework

Another NISMED research project titled “Developing a Theory-Driven Lesson Study for Mathematics Teachers” has been completed. The project which ran from June 2019 to December 2020 in partnership with Sta. Lucia High School in Pasig City problematized the mediation of the Mathematics Discourse in Instruction (MDI) framework to teachers and explored its potential as knowledge resource for them. The MDI framework is a descriptive, analytic, and evaluative framework for studying the quality of mathematics in instruction.

Using design-based research approach, the qualitative study developed and tested an intervention, which is in the form of a three-tier professional development (PD) model that includes a seminar-workshop, Lesson Study, and module writing facilitated via online mode, to mediate the framework as well as to study teacher learning in terms of what comes into focus among the teachers when they engage with the framework within each of the three PD models.

Teachers use the MDI framework to analyze a mathematics lesson

The characteristic features of the intervention package are consistent with research-recommended features of effective professional development, namely: 1) its content is situated and addresses the problem of practice particularly students’ learning; 2) it involves active learning by teachers; 3) it is inquiry-based; 4) the professional learning is collaborative; and 5) it is sustained and spread throughout the school year as opposed to one-off training. What the study has added to this feature is the deliberate use of a research-based framework for analyzing and designing instruction which is missing in most professional development especially in lesson study where theory is considered a major missing link in its current practice.

Initial results of the study indicate that each element of the MDI framework focused the teachers on the quality of mathematics that they make available for learning, which was not the case prior to the study where they spoke more about general pedagogy rather than about the structuring of the mathematics to be learned in the lesson. The long-term goal of this project is to be able to develop an MDI-informed lesson study model for mathematics teachers.

To date, two presentations about the study and its preliminary findings have been made in conferences. The first, titled Mathematics Discourse in Instruction Framework as Knowledge Research for Teachers, was presented at the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia conference in Australia on 27-30 June 2019 and the second, titled Towards a Theory-Driven and Content-Focused Lesson Study, was presented at the World Association of Lesson Studies online conference on 2-4 December 2020. 

Dr. Erlina Ronda proposed and led this research project in collaboration with Ms. Haidee P. Rosete and Ms. Abigail B. Gonzales. The project was funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development (OVCRD) through its Outright Research Grant (ORG). This project is the fourth research project of NISMED that received funding from OVCRD ORG.