Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Exploring the Relationship Between Teachers’ Participation in Modified Lesson Study Cycles and Their Implementation of High-Level Tasks

Eskelson, Samuel L. (2013) Exploring the Relationship Between Teachers’ Participation in Modified Lesson Study Cycles and Their Implementation of High-Level Tasks. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (18MB) | Preview


This study explored the relationship between mathematics teachers’ participation in professional development and subsequent changes in their instructional practices. This professional development aimed to help teachers to implement high-level tasks through the use of the five practices: anticipating, monitoring, selecting, and sequencing (Stein, Engle, Smith, & Hughes, 2008). Data were collected from teachers’ participation with their school-based colleagues in modified lesson study cycles (MLSC). During these cycles, teachers took turns selecting, discussing, and reflecting on the implementation of high-level tasks (focus tasks). Specifically, prior to classroom instruction, teachers anticipated possible student solutions to the tasks and issues that might arise during instruction. Following classroom instruction, the teachers reflected on the lesson and how students actually engaged in the task. Audio recordings and meeting artifacts (e.g., teachers’ anticipated solutions to the focus tasks) were collected. Data from the MLSCs were analyzed to determine teachers’ level of participation and the key ideas that were shared in the MLSC meetings.

Four teachers’ classroom instruction was also investigated. These teachers were observed teaching high-level tasks, including the focus tasks from the MLSCs. Data from these observations consisted of observation write-ups (detailed accounts of the lessons) and lesson artifacts (e.g., lesson plans, representations of displayed student work). These data were analyzed with regard to the level of cognitive demand of the task before and during the lessons and the teachers’ use of the five practices.

Teachers’ engagement in the professional development varied greatly. All of the teachers struggled to implement cognitively demanding tasks at a high level, and they used the five practices inconsistently and sporadically. Two possible explanations for the teachers’ struggles are: (a) the teachers failed to consistently anticipate how students would engage in the task, and (b) the chaotic environment of the school negatively affected some teachers’ participation in the professional development and their use of instructional practices. The results suggest that future professional development should focus on teachers’ content-specific instruction, while also being conscious of and attending to the challenges they face in their particular teaching contexts.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Eskelson, Samuel
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSmith, Margaret S.pegs@pitt.eduPEGS
Committee MemberCartier, Jennifer L.jcartier@pitt.eduJCARTIER
Committee CoChairRussell, Jennifer L.jrussel@pitt.eduJRUSSEL
Committee MemberStein, Mary Kaymkstein@pitt.eduMKSTEIN
Date: 12 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 May 2013
Approval Date: 12 September 2013
Submission Date: 1 July 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 454
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: professional development, modified lesson study cycles, high-level tasks, five practices
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 18:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:13


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item