The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Implementing a Lesson Study PD Programme for VET Teachers: from ‘International Script’ to ‘Local Performance’

Michael Buhagiar, University of Malta (Malta)


Lesson Study is a collaborative professional learning experience that offers teachers the opportunity to identity an issue, to research the issue, to plan and teach a lesson, and then to reflect on and evaluate the lesson’s implementation (Huang et al., 2019). Originating in Japan towards the end of the 19th century, lesson study is known for its teacher learning effectiveness and is now becoming increasingly popular across the world. The EU-funded project Lesson Study for Vocational Education and Training (LS4VET) aimed to adapt the lesson study approach to teachers’ professional development in order to improve the quality of education in VET schools (see The project’s four partner countries (i.e. Hungary, Austria, Malta and The Netherlands) teamed-up to produce a PD programme for VET teachers that was intended to introduce them to lesson study at both theoretical and hands-on levels. In Malta, the 33 VET teachers that registered to participate in this PD programme were divided into seven groups (with 4-6 persons in each group). Each group was led by one of the project’s four local team members, and meetings were held using a combination of face-to-face and online sessions. Only five groups with a combined total of 15 teachers completed the PD programme. This presentation focuses on two of these five groups, which I led. In each of these two groups, only three teachers completed the PD programme. Using a ‘play’ metaphor, more specifically how the script of a play is adapted by the director and cast while preparing for a stage performance, this presentation will explore how an international PD programme is adapted by the local team leader and PD participants, and the reasons for doing this. Using a self-study approach (Hamilton et al., 2008), my entries in a reflective journal that was kept during the implementation of the PD programme with the two groups will be analysed by themes (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The idea is to shed light on how a PD programme is transformed from its international text to how it is enacted then in localised settings. The findings suggest that unless PD programmes are adapted for local use, although the fidelity of their core principles might suffer, it is less unlikely that they get implemented.          




International projects; professional development; VET teachers; PD programme implementation; Lesson study



Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.

Hamilton, M.L., Smith, L., & Worthington, K. (2008) Fitting the methodology with the research: An exploration of narrative, self-study and auto-ethnography. Studying Teacher Education, 4(1), 17–28.

Huang, R., Takahashi, A., & Ponte, J.P. (Eds.) (2019) Theory and Practice of Lesson Study in Mathematics. Springer.


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