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Designing lesson study for individual and collective learning: networking theoretical perspectives

Wake, Geoffrey



This article aims to explore, by drawing on, and coordinating and combining Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Community of Practice theoretical perspectives, what we might learn about how to design for Lesson Study that best supports both collective and individual learning.
The article primarily makes a theoretical contribution. It does, however, draw on,and is inforemd, by the design of a large-scale study that sought to improve teaching and learning in mathematics with the particular aim of improving grades of post-16 learners in national examinations in England. Lesson Study was central to the designed intervention and such design is explored from the two theoretical perspectives.
Theoretical analysis suggests how the careful design of Lesson Study can facilitate both individual and collective learning in terms of the theories networked here. In particular, it is suggested that supporting collective learning requires careful attention to how 'disturbances' in activity systems need to be designed for rather than being left to chance and how architectures that can support individual learning in terms of identity development should pay attention to supporting emerging practices as well as defining what is non-negotiable.
The article takes a novel approach by coordinating and combining two different, and well established, theoretical approaches, which, significantly, are used quite widely in social science research. Together they provide a rich view of learning at both individual and collective levels and suggest ways in which we might better support design for Lesson Study.


Wake, G. (2023). Designing lesson study for individual and collective learning: networking theoretical perspectives. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 12(1), 7-20.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 6, 2022
Publication Date Jan 1, 2023
Deposit Date Nov 9, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2022
Journal International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies
Print ISSN 2046-8253
Electronic ISSN 2046-8261
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 7-20
Keywords Lesson Study; Networking Theories; Cultural Historical Activity Theory; Communities of Practice; Professional Learning; Theories of change
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