22 Jun

Lesson Study in the Republic of Ireland

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Lesson Study is becoming a more familiar and widely used model of teacher education in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). For a number of years, Lesson Study has been included in initial teacher education at primary level (e.g. Corcoran (2007); Leavy and Hourigan (2016)) and, more recently, at post-primary level. A number of small scale studies have introduced Lesson Study at school-based level (e.g. Brosnan (2007); Ni Shuilleabhain (2016)).

Supporting the recent national reform of the post-primary mathematics curriculum in the ROI (see Ni Shuilleabhain and Seery (2017) and Brosnan (2014) for further details), a wide-scale introduction of Lesson Study is now being introduced across the country.

In the academic year 2016-2017, over 250 teachers from 110 post-primary schools took part in school-based and inter-school Lesson Study groups. Similar to the Lesson Study project reported by Groves, Doig, Vale, and Widjaja (2016) in Australia, this introduction of Lesson Study emphasises the implementation of structured problem solving in the mathematics classroom. Support for teachers is provided by the national Mathematics Development Team, in the form of a three-day induction programme, with follow-up support provided by associates (who work in a similar role to ‘maths coaches’). Resources and materials are also available online (http://www.projectmaths.ie/for-teachers/). Since 2014, an annual conference has taken place where teachers participating in Lesson Study can showcase their work and observe live research lessons.

In contrast to the introduction of Lesson Study as a top down professional development initiative (Kusanagi, 2014), this national Lesson Study initiativeis intended as a grass-roots programme for teachers to voluntarily participate in collaborative professional development. Supported by the Department of Education and Skills, it is hoped that this large-scale introduction of Lesson Study will support the implementation of the revised mathematics curriculum and will broaden practices on teacher professional development as collaborative and focused on student learning.

Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin & Dr Anne Brosnan

Figure 1 Live research lesson taught at 'Maths Counts' conference in 2017

Figure 2 Teachers attending 'Maths Counts 2017' in the Republic of Ireland

Figure 3 Teachers attending 'Maths Counts 2017' in the Republic of Ireland

Figure 4 Teachers at 'Maths Counts 2017' with Prof. Akihiko Takahashi & Dr Anne Brosnan



Brosnan, A. (2007). The teaching of Mathematics at Post-Primary level in Ireland: A review of traditional patterns and an exploration of future practices. (Ph.D), N.U.I Maynooth.  


Brosnan, A. (2014). Introducing lesson study in promoting a new mathematics curriculum in Irish post-primary schools. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 3(3), 236-251.


Corcoran, D. (2007). Put Out into Deep Water and Pay out Your Nets for a Catch: Lessons learned from a pilot study in Mathematics Lesson Study. In S. Close, D. Corcoran, & T. Dooley (Eds.), Proceedings of Second Annual Conference on Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 275-289). MEI 2: St. Patrick's College, Ireland.


Dooley, T., & Aysel, T. (2017). Using variation theory to explore the reteaching phase of lesson study. Paper presented at the CERME 10, Dublin City University.


Groves, S., Doig, B., Vale, C., & Widjaja, W. (2016). Critical factors in the adaptation and implementation of Japanese Lesson Study in the Australian context. ZDM, 48, 501-512.


Kusanagi, K. N. (2014). The Bureaucratising of Lesson Study: A Javanese Case. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, 16, 84-103.


Leavy, A. M., & Hourigan, M. (2016). Using lesson study to support knowledge development in initial teacher education: Insights from early number classrooms. Teaching and Teacher Education, 57, 161-175. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.04.002


Maths Development Team. Conferences.   Retrieved from http://www.projectmaths.ie/for-teachers/conferences/


Maths Development Team. Put your school on the map with Lesson Study 2017-2018.   Retrieved from http://www.projectmaths.ie/for-teachers/professional-development/lesson-study/


Ni Shuilleabhain, A. (2016). Developing mathematics teachers' pedagogical content knowledge in lesson study: case study findings. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 5(3), 212-226. doi:10.1108/IJLLS-11-2015-0036


Ni Shuilleabhain, A., & Seery, A. (2017). Enacting curriculum reform through lesson study: a case study of mathematics teacher learning. Professional Development in Education, 1-15. doi: 10.1080/19415257.2017.1280521

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