Questions have been raised about what constitutes effective continuous professional
development. Short-term training initiatives for in-service teachers have had limited success as
agents of change. Lesson Study, an approach initiated by the Japanese, could address this
shortcoming. Lesson Study is a bottom-up approach which emphasises teacher collaboration
and where the teacher's subject knowledge and teaching practice are enhanced through
individual and group reflection.
The purpose of this study is to establish the content of the teachers' reflection in the
context of a 'Lesson Study' and to analyse this content against the framework of the Knowledge
Quartet. A practical action research approach was adopted for this study. The participants were
five mathematics teachers who teach in two non-urban secondary schools. Data in the form of
individual reflection notes, video material of the group reflection sessions and my field notes
were collected during three Lesson Study cycles conducted over a period of five weeks. Most
learners were not from English-speaking backgrounds, but were taught in English.
Twelve sub-categories emerged from the teachers' reflection, and these sub-categories
were grouped into the four following categories: Teacher focus; Learner focus; Lesson design
and Resources. Levels of reflection were deepest in cycle two, a finding in keeping with other
similar studies. All dimensions of the Knowledge Quartet were included in the teachers'
reflections. However, the focus of experienced teachers differed from that of inexperienced
Action research is based on the assumption that the answers to the research questions
posed in a specific study are unique to that study. Since the group dynamics and the
relationships within the group are fundamental to action research, any outcomes apply only to a
specific group in a specific context and cannot be generalised; this rule applies to Lesson Study.
However, I trust that the findings of this study will contribute towards the body of knowledge
concerning the use of Lesson Study as a professional development programme which enables
teachers to become reflective practitioners and assists them in growing their knowledge for
teaching, individually and collectively. Future research could investigate the suitability of
Lesson Study for in-service teacher development through all phases of schooling.