EVALUATING THE RESEARCH LESSON
General Principles
The key to effective evaluation of research lesson is the sharing of data about the two or three case students who were the focus of the observation. What characterises research lesson evaluation is the discussion of how learners responded, specifically what they did, when, why and how. This can then lead to discussion of the lesson’s effectiveness in support of learning. Once this has been done it is possible to extrapolate methodological conclusions and to identify issues for attention that relate to the teacher standards (DfE 2012).
The key to effective evaluation of research lesson is the sharing of data about the two or three case students who were the focus of the observation. What characterises research lesson evaluation is the discussion of how learners responded, specifically what they did, when, why and how. This can then lead to discussion of the lesson’s effectiveness in support of learning. Once this has been done it is possible to extrapolate methodological conclusions and to identify issues for attention that relate to the teacher standards (DfE 2012).
QUESTIONING FRAMEWORK
As advised when preparing the research lessons, possible guide questions for the evaluation meeting include:
1. What did the case students do at each key point of the lesson?
2. How did this compare to the planned intentions?
3. What learning was observed at each key point and what was the evidence for this?
4. What amendments should we consider to improve the learning/engagement of the case students and why?
5. What amendments to the plan should be made before the next teaching of the lesson (repeat lesson with a different group) or a following lesson?
1. What did the case students do at each key point of the lesson?
2. How did this compare to the planned intentions?
3. What learning was observed at each key point and what was the evidence for this?
4. What amendments should we consider to improve the learning/engagement of the case students and why?
5. What amendments to the plan should be made before the next teaching of the lesson (repeat lesson with a different group) or a following lesson?
Examples of evaluation meeting discourse
The following is an example of a section from an evaluation meeting conducted by two new teachers of mathematics and a teacher with six years of experience, following a research lesson which focused on the measurement of surface area:
Z: I was really surprised that when we started doing the whiteboard work that it wasn’t until we got to the triangular prism that they had any problems really,
S: Yeah
X: Hmmm
Z: so judging by their answers they were all like ‘well of course it’s this’ and ‘of course it’s that’.
Z: And when I’ve taught surface area before that hasn’t been the case, they’ve been like ahhh? So for them to just be able to do the surface area of the cuboids, because you know we broke it down into steps, the first one and we said ‘so what’s this face,
X: Hmmm
Z: what’s this face, what’s this face’, then I said so what’s that, the surface area of that cuboid,
S: Yeah
Z: and they all got it right and I was like ‘oh!’ and that’s quite a nice surprise because yeah, in other lessons that I’ve taught that hasn’t been the case.
S: What do you think that might be then? Do you think it’s the fact they had that box to look at and…
Z: Yeah
S: And pull apart?
Z: So that they could… I think we did, like we spent almost half the lesson didn’t we, kind of preparing them for surface area
X: Yeah
Z: … in terms of talking about what are the units going to be – they all got the units right on their first whiteboard.
X: That’s really good for that hardly ever happens.
Discussion focused on the innovation they had designed and tried during the lesson, judging that the approach had been effective and had led to learning that they had not seen before when teaching similar lessons, as described by one of the group in subsequent discussion:
Z: …… so judging by their answers they were all like ‘well of course it’s this’ and ‘of course it’s that’. And when I’ve taught surface area before that hasn’t been the case, they’ve been like ahhh? ………
Z: … and they all got it right and I was like ‘oh!’ and that’s quite a nice surprise because yeah, in other lessons that I’ve taught that hasn’t been the case.
They judged the research lesson to have been effective because it engaged the students in problemsolving and interactive activities in which they were asked to apply mathematical understanding to measuring the surface area of a variety of boxes.
The following is an example of a section from an evaluation meeting conducted by two new teachers of mathematics and a teacher with six years of experience, following a research lesson which focused on the measurement of surface area:
Z: I was really surprised that when we started doing the whiteboard work that it wasn’t until we got to the triangular prism that they had any problems really,
S: Yeah
X: Hmmm
Z: so judging by their answers they were all like ‘well of course it’s this’ and ‘of course it’s that’.
Z: And when I’ve taught surface area before that hasn’t been the case, they’ve been like ahhh? So for them to just be able to do the surface area of the cuboids, because you know we broke it down into steps, the first one and we said ‘so what’s this face,
X: Hmmm
Z: what’s this face, what’s this face’, then I said so what’s that, the surface area of that cuboid,
S: Yeah
Z: and they all got it right and I was like ‘oh!’ and that’s quite a nice surprise because yeah, in other lessons that I’ve taught that hasn’t been the case.
S: What do you think that might be then? Do you think it’s the fact they had that box to look at and…
Z: Yeah
S: And pull apart?
Z: So that they could… I think we did, like we spent almost half the lesson didn’t we, kind of preparing them for surface area
X: Yeah
Z: … in terms of talking about what are the units going to be – they all got the units right on their first whiteboard.
X: That’s really good for that hardly ever happens.
Discussion focused on the innovation they had designed and tried during the lesson, judging that the approach had been effective and had led to learning that they had not seen before when teaching similar lessons, as described by one of the group in subsequent discussion:
Z: …… so judging by their answers they were all like ‘well of course it’s this’ and ‘of course it’s that’. And when I’ve taught surface area before that hasn’t been the case, they’ve been like ahhh? ………
Z: … and they all got it right and I was like ‘oh!’ and that’s quite a nice surprise because yeah, in other lessons that I’ve taught that hasn’t been the case.
They judged the research lesson to have been effective because it engaged the students in problemsolving and interactive activities in which they were asked to apply mathematical understanding to measuring the surface area of a variety of boxes.
REPORTING A LESSON STUDY CYCLETo disseminate the lessons learned from a cycle of Lesson Study, it is useful to use a simple summary report which outlines the details of what has been done and the perceived outcomes. If groups complete such an exercise, which need not take a very long period of time, the collated results can help to extend organisational learning in a rapid way. It also allows teachers within an organisation to find out and understand the challenges and issues facing others. Such insights might allow for greater collaboration in the future, through crossdepartment Lesson Study or other approaches to professional development.

GENERIC REPORTING TEMPLATE
