The Global Education Office hosted the sixth Lecture Series on Friday, December 11, presenting Dr. Catherine C. Lewis (Mills College).

In the US, there has been a wide gap between children’s math achievement by income and ethnicity (excluding East Asian descents). How can US educators improve math learning and fill the gap? —Japanese education practices were the answer key.

A decade ago, many thought that Japanese lesson study would not work in the US. However, as Dr. Lewis presented, the accumulating evidence shows that the Japanese approach to teaching math through problem-solving has some promising effects for children from low SES families. 
In a case study of John Muir Elementary school that serves disadvantaged children, all teachers participated in lesson study and applied the Japanese strategy to teaching math over several years. The outcome was astonishing. The children scored higher on the SMBC math test (a standardized math test in California) than their counterparts in the same district.
To move onto the next step, Dr. Lewis invited the audience to discuss the challenges of adapting Japanese education practices in different cultural contexts and possible ways to extend the existing lesson study program.

The next lecture is scheduled for January 18 (Speaker: Dr. Ryoko Tsuneyoshi). We will be announcing the details soon.

Posted by Reina Takamatsu