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Changing teaching, changing teachers: learning through contrast, generalization and fusion

Conference paper
Authors Airi Rovio-Johansson
Published in Paper presented at the EARLI Conference 12-16 August 2019 at Aachen University, Germany.
Publication year 2019
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Language en
Keywords lesson study, learning study, variation theory, path of learning
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Didactics, Learning


In all its adaptations, Lesson Study emphasises the use of evidence to guide teachers’ collaborative reflection on what works in the classroom. Phenomenography and variation theory provide us with the tools to explore the experience of teacher learning through participation in Lesson Study. From an analysis of reports providing evidence of the experience of teacher learning voiced by teachers participating in the Learning Study (LS) adaptation of Lesson Study, we sought to identify the object of learning and the path of learning - separation, contrast, generalization, fusion (Marton, 2015) - that led to change in the teachers’ experience of teaching. We were interested also in the experience of the facilitator or coach, and in the part, they play in the teacher group's pursuit of that path. Variation theory posits that, if learning has occurred, it has resulted from an experience of variation. Our question: ‘What is that experience of variation that leads to teacher learning through LS?’ In summary, we are interested to identify necessary conditions of teacher learning through participation in LS. From this study, we are able to argue that LS should have a central role in initial and in-service teacher education programmes in higher education.

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