Last week, I was invited to present in an international education conference in Mongolia (albeit small scale).
The theme of the conference was “issue and solution of pre/primary education.”
I thought that would be a great chance to present the current project I am in charge of (project to support 1st grader’s school transition). But I was asked to talk something about Japan, mainly because I would be presenting as a Guest from Japan (although I am based in Mongolia!). ←Probably the conference did not have enough budget to invite many people from Japan (there was one college professorーREAL guest from Japan).
After a couple of brain storming, I decided to talk about Japanese in-service training, in particular “Jugyo Kenkyu (Lesson Study)”.
In this very in-depth Lesson Study, there are several steps, which are as follows:
1．Some teachers form a team
2．Develop a goal
3．Design the lesson
4．Plan the study on how to observe and collect evidence
5．Teach and observe (one teacher implements designed lesson and others observe)
6． Analyze and revise after the lesson
7．Going back to (3), and once the team is satisfied, they will document and disseminate the lesson
(LESSON STUDY OVERVIEW)
I became interested in this topic because since I left Japan (9 years ago), I learned that this Lesson Study was quite famous in other countries. In fact, this Lesson Study is implemented in more than 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, US, etc. (e.g., please see this source which talks about the importance of Lesson Study in the U.S.: A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study)
Well, for my presentation, I used three sources: (1) literature review, (2) introduction of my own experience of conducting Lesson Study and (3) interviews of current primary teachers in Japan.
Well, it took me much time for preparation, but I learned many things about Japanese education I did’t know before (and my paper was published!).
After the presentation, I received many questions, which showed that scholars in Mongolia are very much interested in knowing more about Japan. (I was also invited to do the same presentation in other conference !!) And through this conference, I met many scholars not only in Mongolia but also from Russia, China, Inner Mongolia and South Korea.
I really appreciate the person who invited me to the conference for giving me this good opportunity (stakeholder of the project) and those interviewees (mainly my friends who are/were teaching).
This time, I learned that:
If you want to learn something, presenting about that theme is great way to learn.
Teaching is a rewarding position but in many countries they are not receiving the attention they deserve.