Date of Award

Winter 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Mathematics Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Sonia Hristovitch


This study tracked the development of teacher knowledge through a professional development experience called lesson study. Lesson study is a Japanese professional development process in which a group of teachers develop a series of lessons using the following stages: planning lessons, teaching/observing the lessons, reflecting on lessons taught as well as sharing and discussing the lessons with their colleagues (Lewis, 2002). The aim of this study was to explore how the lesson study process influenced teacher knowledge of mathematics content and pedagogical content.

Study participants were four secondary mathematics teachers from a rural high school in the Northeast. All participants were certified in teaching secondary mathematics and varied in their educational background and teaching experience. These four teachers and the researcher created a Mathematics Lesson Study Group at the high school level. Throughout the 2004-2005 school year, this group met to plan three different mathematics lessons. After planning each lesson, one teacher from the group taught the lesson to his/her class of students while the other teachers observed. Following the teaching/observing stage of the lesson development, the teachers had a debriefing meeting to reflect on how the lesson went and to propose possible revisions.

Each stage of the lesson study process - planning, teaching/observing, and debriefing was examined carefully in order to determine how the various aspects of that stage contributed to the development of the teachers' mathematics content and pedagogical content knowledge. This information was gathered from videotapes and teachers' notes taken at all meetings, journal reflections following the meetings, initial and final interviews, and classroom observations. All data was analyzed qualitatively. Results indicate that the teachers' mathematics content knowledge in the form of substantive and syntactic knowledge was influenced throughout all stages of the lesson study process. In addition, during each of the stages of lesson study the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge evolved in the areas of prior knowledge connections, anticipating student misconceptions, questioning, choosing example problems, assessing student understanding during the lesson, and curriculum knowledge. Lastly, the results support how important the components of planning and reflection, within the lesson study model, are to the enrichment of teachers' knowledge and classroom practices.