This case study is to explore English teachers’ professional growth and development by promoting lesson study in a middle school English teachers’ professional learning community (PLC). The PLC worked together, planning an actual lesson, observing how the lesson was taught, and discussing the teaching after observation. Through conversation, discussion, reflection and revision, the PLC aimed to build consensus and enhance professional growth. The study also discussed possible problems and solutions to promoting lesson study in the PLC.
The case study was conducted by a senior administrator in the middle school, acting as participant-observer. Data collection instruments included researcher-observation of relevant meetings and classroom teaching, post-study interviews of teachers in the PLC, document review and reflective journals from the researcher.
The study concludes that
1. the PLC plays an important role in teachers’ professional growth and development.
2. with appropriate teaching strategies, lesson study can enhance teachers’ professional growth and development. Some effective teaching strategies used were changing the logic and order of lesson designing, scaffolding the lessons, and effectively adjusting teaching pace.
3. the professional conversations in lesson study form a new look of the PLC.
Based on the conclusions, the study suggests that
1. teachers should find those who have the same ideas in teaching and form a PLC. Teachers in the PLC should increase the abilities of lesson designing and questioning skills. PLCs of different subjects could implement interdisciplinary lesson study.
2. schools should encourage teachers to form PLCs and provide fully support.
3. future researchers can study how PLCs are implemented in public schools, different learning stages, or different subjects. They can also research the process of administrators promoting lesson study, or the learning results of student learning after implementing lesson study. Different research methods, such as action research study, can also be applied.