Writing the lesson plan

Teachers have found the following structure to be extremely helpful for planning the research lesson. It draws on the traditional phases of a lesson, as practiced in Japan, and also our own empirical research.

Before the research lesson

Students tackle the task individually. Their initial ideas are collected in and these are used to prepare questions that will move their thinking forward during the research lesson. Some of these questions are written on their work or on the board at the beginning of the lesson.

The research lesson

  1. Presentation (Hatsumon)
    (Re-) present the problem in an intriguing way.
    Students further develop their initial ideas, with the additional help of the teacher's questions.
  2. Developing a solution collaboratively (Kikan-shido)
    Students share their ideas in pairs or threes and work together to produce joint solutions.
    The teacher observes students carefully, identifying issues in student work that should be discussed more widely.
  3. Comparing strategies (Neriage)
    Teacher selects student work to discuss with whole class.
    Students may be asked to critique further approaches using examples of work from outside the class.
    Together, the teacher and the class discuss the advantages and disadvantages of alternative methods.
  4. Summarising and reflecting (Matome)
    Teacher and students summarise what has been found, identify the most important ideas.
    Connections are made with other problems.
    Students summarise what they have learned.

A template for a research lesson plan is given below, together with a completed one for the lesson "X Factor".

A more polished lesson plan is also given for the problem "Outbreak!"