WALS International Conference, September 3-5, 2016, Exeter, Great Britain

From September 3rd to 5th, 2016, the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom hosted the 10th annual conference of the World Association of  Lesson Study (WALS). The theme of the conference was: Lesson Study: Transforming Teaching and Teacher Learning in Professional Learning Communities.

The aim of the conference was to: “… bring together practitioners and researchers from across the world to share their knowledge, understanding and experience of Lesson Study as a form of practice-based research.”

The organizing ideas of the conference were:

  • The development of professional educational communities: models and practices;
  • Lesson Study in different cultural, subject and learning contexts;
  • Design knowledge into practice: Action Research and other research-based approaches in practice; and
  • Leadership and management.

The conference was attended by over 500 delegates from 39 countries. The keynote speakers were: Professor Andy Hargreaves (USA), Professor Kiomi Akita (Japan), Professor Catherine Lewis (USA) and Dr. Pete Dudley (UK).

The delegation from Kazakhstan consisted of nine members (six from the Center of Excellence and three from Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Astana) and presented the following papers at the conference:

  1. Liliya Zhurba (CoE, Kokshetau) spoke on: “A Distance Learning Programme For Teachers In Kazakhstan: Introducing Lesson Study as a Training Model.”
  2. Zukhra Idrisheva (CoE, Astana,) and Zhibek Abdramanova (CoE Kyzylorda branch) spoke on: “The Impact of Lesson Study on School Culture.”
  3. Yuliya Melnikova (CoE, Pavlodar) “Constructing The Research Question in Lesson Study.”
  4. Tatyana Mashinets and Zhadyra Seyssenbayeva (Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Astana) spoke on: “Conducting Lesson Study in the International Baccalaureate: the Subject Areas of English and Kazakh.”
  5. Arman Imansharipova (Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Astana) spoke on: “Using Lesson Study as a Means of Innovation in the Kazakh Education System.”

These contributions were warmly received by the conference participants. In particular, Professor  Janos Gyori of Hungary said that he was very interested in the reforms taking place in Kazakhstani education. He observed that the reform programme has received strong governmental support and has become one of the main areas of social policy.

The following key ideas were presented at the conference:

  • Lesson Study can be adapted to the needs and circumstances of schools;
  • The support of universities is an important component in the implementation of Lesson Study in schools.

The following elements of Lesson Study allow one to make positive changes in teaching and learning:

  • Access to knowledge (of content, instruction, student thinking);
  • Collaborative structures (to support risk, push inquiry, challenge ideas, etc.);
  • Practice enactment (trial in the classroom, focus on student responses as the warrant for effectiveness); and
  • Motivation

Prsesntations of the members of  the delegation from Kazakhstan