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Student voice in Lesson Study as a space for EFL teachers’ learning: a case study in Kazakhstan

Student voice in Lesson Study as a space for EFL teachers’ learning: a case study in Kazakhstan PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to report the findings from a case study of an action research project in the context of a secondary school in Kazakhstan where, for the first time in their teaching practice, three English as a Foreign Language teachers introduced student voice (Flutter and Rudduck, 2004) into their practice within the Lesson Study (LS) framework. The research aimed at conceptualizing Student Voice Space in LS as one of the valuable factors capable of triggering situations of disjuncture (disorienting dilemma, disruption) for teachers which could potentially lead to teacher’s transformative learning, educational beliefs change and improved practice.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopts the qualitative research design and follows narrative inquiry methodology (Lyons and LaBoskey, 2002) with a series of narrative interviews (Bauer, 1996) as the main method of data collection within a single case study (Bassey, 1999) of an action research project. The data were analyzed as text following a general inductive approach (Thomas, 2003) where emerging themes were identified by means of data reduction.FindingsThe findings suggest that listening to student voice triggers teachers’ going through certain stages of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory including critical assessment of own assumptions, testing new options for behavior and reflecting critically on the teaching practice. Therefore, the authors suggest that Student Voice Space in LS is one of the important factors capable of triggering the teacher’s transformative learning. Moreover, it has an enormous potential not only to bring about positive changes in teachers’ practice but also challenge the ossified teachers’ educational beliefs, and thus, potentially, pave the way for a gradual change from “inappropriate beliefs” (Mayrhofer, 2019), or subconscious assumptions that lie in the core of teachers’ folk pedagogies (Torff, 1999), or taken-for-granted frames of reference (Mezirow, 2000) into true, justified or informed educational beliefs.Research limitations/implicationsFurther analysis of teachers’ narratives is required to elicit and categorize reported changes (shifts, transformations) concerning specific teachers’ educational beliefs, and draw a more clear line between student voice and its impact on the research lesson planning and its modification in LS. Finally, a supplementary study utilizing classroom observation methods is needed to explore if student voice intervention results in tangible (actual) changes in teachers’ classroom practice and educational beliefs, rather than potential transformations that are mainly reported in this study.Originality/valueCarried out in the largely overlooked by the academic literature context of the Reform at Scale (Wilson et al., 2013) in Kazakhstan and building on the original combination of theoretical lenses, the research contributes to the academic literature aiming at illuminating “the black box of teachers’ learning” in Lesson Study (in Widjaja et al., 2017, p.358) since it is one of the rare studies attempting to connect teacher learning, student voice and Lesson Study (Warwick et al., 2019). Additionally, approaching teacher learning in Lesson Study from the transformative learning perspective combined with the literature on teachers’ educational beliefs and student voice, this study contributes to the further development of a shared vocabulary for discussing teacher learning in Lesson Study. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Lesson and Learning Studies Emerald Publishing

Student voice in Lesson Study as a space for EFL teachers’ learning: a case study in Kazakhstan

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2046-8253
DOI
10.1108/IJLLS-06-2019-0054
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to report the findings from a case study of an action research project in the context of a secondary school in Kazakhstan where, for the first time in their teaching practice, three English as a Foreign Language teachers introduced student voice (Flutter and Rudduck, 2004) into their practice within the Lesson Study (LS) framework. The research aimed at conceptualizing Student Voice Space in LS as one of the valuable factors capable of triggering situations of disjuncture (disorienting dilemma, disruption) for teachers which could potentially lead to teacher’s transformative learning, educational beliefs change and improved practice.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopts the qualitative research design and follows narrative inquiry methodology (Lyons and LaBoskey, 2002) with a series of narrative interviews (Bauer, 1996) as the main method of data collection within a single case study (Bassey, 1999) of an action research project. The data were analyzed as text following a general inductive approach (Thomas, 2003) where emerging themes were identified by means of data reduction.FindingsThe findings suggest that listening to student voice triggers teachers’ going through certain stages of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory including critical assessment of own assumptions, testing new options for behavior and reflecting critically on the teaching practice. Therefore, the authors suggest that Student Voice Space in LS is one of the important factors capable of triggering the teacher’s transformative learning. Moreover, it has an enormous potential not only to bring about positive changes in teachers’ practice but also challenge the ossified teachers’ educational beliefs, and thus, potentially, pave the way for a gradual change from “inappropriate beliefs” (Mayrhofer, 2019), or subconscious assumptions that lie in the core of teachers’ folk pedagogies (Torff, 1999), or taken-for-granted frames of reference (Mezirow, 2000) into true, justified or informed educational beliefs.Research limitations/implicationsFurther analysis of teachers’ narratives is required to elicit and categorize reported changes (shifts, transformations) concerning specific teachers’ educational beliefs, and draw a more clear line between student voice and its impact on the research lesson planning and its modification in LS. Finally, a supplementary study utilizing classroom observation methods is needed to explore if student voice intervention results in tangible (actual) changes in teachers’ classroom practice and educational beliefs, rather than potential transformations that are mainly reported in this study.Originality/valueCarried out in the largely overlooked by the academic literature context of the Reform at Scale (Wilson et al., 2013) in Kazakhstan and building on the original combination of theoretical lenses, the research contributes to the academic literature aiming at illuminating “the black box of teachers’ learning” in Lesson Study (in Widjaja et al., 2017, p.358) since it is one of the rare studies attempting to connect teacher learning, student voice and Lesson Study (Warwick et al., 2019). Additionally, approaching teacher learning in Lesson Study from the transformative learning perspective combined with the literature on teachers’ educational beliefs and student voice, this study contributes to the further development of a shared vocabulary for discussing teacher learning in Lesson Study.

Journal

International Journal of Lesson and Learning StudiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 24, 2019

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