Main Article Content
Jugyou kenkyuu (lesson study) is a collaborative method, which has been used in Japanese schools for over 100 years to develop teachers’ professional achievement. In addition, as a result of relevant publications on lesson study in the Western literature, the method has spread very quickly throughout the world as of the late 20th century. Since that time, a large number of educational studies have focused on lesson study either in schools in Japan or in other countries. In our research, we report how lesson study is practised in a school functioning in special circumstances. The Budapest Japanese School (BJS) follows the official Japanese national curriculum; however, geographically, it operates very far away and physically isolated from Japanese schools in the homeland. We have found that because of its special situation, a slightly different version of lesson study was designed and implemented in BJS than in schools in Japan. In BJS, all staff members do lesson study in one common lesson study group each academic year. They choose an important aspect of teacher activity in the classroom which they want to improve, and they collaboratively prepare and run a 6–7-lesson-long series of lessons which are all related to the central issue of their innovative efforts. At the end of the academic year, they summarize all the important aspects they have learnt on the chosen topic during their lesson studies in the year. Teachers and school leaders are strongly convinced that lesson study is a crucial factor in the ongoing process of all teachers’ pedagogical knowledge development and in the continuous professional improvement of the school as an educational institution. They could not imagine their school without lesson study and/or similar professional activities.