A Lesson Study Approach for Grade 10–11 Biology teachers : a framework to foster teaching praxis in education for sustainable development
Angula, Alina Hambelela
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The Lesson Study Approach (LSA) is a professional learning approach that has the potential to revolutionise how teachers plan and deliver lessons in Africa. Despite teachers being trained in collaborative planning and peer teaching, Namibian teachers have experienced challenges in its implementation. The implementation of the LSA is not common practice among Namibian teachers, and its effective implementation has not been well emphasised. Equally, the call to integrate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across all Namibian school curricula has been given little attention by teachers. The purpose of this research study was to establish how the LSA has been integrated by Grade 10–11 Biology teachers to foster teaching praxis in ESD. The professional development of teachers as planners and implementers of subject knowledge is often neglected due to time and resource restraints. To aid with professional development in Biology teaching in Namibia, I attempted a Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR) study with a group of teachers as a professional learning group (PLG), by implementing the LSA cyclical process of plan, do, see and improve in Grade 10 and 11 Biology teaching and learning. Convenience sampling was used to select one secondary school in the Onathinge Circuit in the Oshikoto Region, Namibia. Purposive recruitment was used to select the four participants. The data were generated from the lesson planning discussions, discussions of the lesson observations and narratives of the presented lesson discussions, the discussions of the PLG reflective diaries and my analysis of the reflective diaries. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data collaboratively. This research study familiarised the involved PLG teachers with the LSA through collaborating on the critique of the planning and presenting for the betterment of both planning and presenting the lesson, and therefore teaching in a learner-centred approach. The recurrent reflection discussions of the planned and observed lessons in which the PLG was involved led to lesson improvement. This study established that a lack of time, time allocation and management, teacher’s workload and the lack of appropriate teaching and learning resources were identified as challenges in the implementation of the LSA. In this research study, the PLG teachers shared the challenges of Biology teaching, namely time and resources, and opened up possible ways to address the challenges. The overall aim of this research study was achieved by addressing the research objectives of this study which was to develop an LSA framework for Grade 10–11 Biology teachers. The LSA framework can direct Biology teachers to develop professionally and bring changes in their classroom teaching through its implementation. The Grade 10–11 LSA framework was developed for the benefit of the Biology teachers in the form of professional development. The developed framework presents Namibian teachers with an alternative to planning the lesson individually – teaching in a teacher-centred manner and moving towards collaborative planning, observing and reflecting on learner-centred lessons. Though it was the intention of this research study to more fully discuss ESD, the PLG did not make ESD a priority. The developed framework directs Namibian teachers to address the National Environmental Education (EE)/ESD policy in their teaching and learning. The involvement of the PLG teachers in providing guidelines for this framework and the recurrent collaborative planning, observing and reflection discussions helped increase their confidence and remove the fear of being observed.
- Education