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Japanese Lesson Study in the United States: Looking Back and Looking Ahead


"Japanese lesson study continues to attract the attention of U.S. educators more than 15 years after its first introduction. Research supporting its effectiveness in terms of students' learning is beginning to emerge. When a practice that is successful in one culture is imported into another, however, there are usually some obstacles and challenges, and this has been the case with Japanese lesson study. As educators around the world attempt to implement Japanese lesson study in their own situations, it is important for us to consider what the essential design features of lesson study are. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the initial 15 years of Japanese lesson study in the United States and identify those factors that contributed to its successes and also those that may have prevented it from achieving its fullest potential. We will also discuss additional factors that may support successful implementation of Japanese lesson study outside of Japan."