The pre-lesson briefing

When everyone has arrived for the research lesson, it is always helpful to arrange a briefing before the lesson starts. We have found it helpful to allow 30 minutes for this. This briefing usually involves the following:

Introduction to the school and practical matters

Arrangements for the research lesson, school regulations, confidentiality issues (e.g. taking photographs).

Introduction to the class

Students’ prior experiences, particularly of problem solving.
Avoid discussing individual students and prejudicing observations.

Introduction to the lesson

Explanation the rationale behind the research question and how this informed the lesson plan.

Advice for the observers

Describe their role during the research lesson:
  • To observe student learning, not to judge the teaching.
  • To focus on observations that may help address the research question.
  • To avoid distracting students by talking to them.
  • To make detailed notes about specific examples to contribute to the post-lesson discussion.
  • Less experienced observers might focus on only one group of students to start with.
Some observers have enjoyed recording their observations using Lesson Note on an iPad.



Watch the following videoclip of the pre-lesson briefing for the Outbreak! Lesson.(2 minutes 45 seconds)
You can follow the whole progress of this lesson study on the following pages of this site.
The lesson plan for the Outbreak lesson is here:
  • Why do you think that the teacher has given the problem to students beforehand?
  • Why do you think the teacher plans to sit students with contrasting approaches next to each other?