What is Lesson Study?

Lesson Study is a Japanese model of teacher-led research in which a triad of teachers work together to target an identified area for development in their students’ learning. Using existing evidence, participants collaboratively research, plan, teach and observe a series of lessons, using ongoing discussion, reflection and expert input to track and refine their interventions.

The Japanese Lesson Study model has been advocated in the UK for some time both by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and its predecessor organisations.

The outline of the approach is as follows:



The Evidence

A 2014 systematic review (Wai Ming Cheung, 2014) looked across 9 quantitative studies and concluded that Lesson Study and Learning Study appear to be beneficial to student outcomes.

The Education Endowment Foundation conducted a large trial which showed no statistical impact – TDT’s CEO discusses issues with the findings here.

Godfrey et al (2018) conducted an evaluation in UK schools and found positive impact.


Find out more:

When Lesson Study is implemented incorrectly, there is a risk of adding to an already heavy teacher workload, demotivating teachers and failing to make any difference to pupils’ outcomes.

Collaborative Enquiry Training

Our Collaborative Enquiry Training course examines Lesson Study amongst other models. Find out more and download our brochure.

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