Volume 11 Issue 3 (2022)

The invisible leader: Facilitation in Lesson Study

pp. 48-61  |  Published Online: September 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2022.113.3

John Paul Mynott, Daryl Michel


Background/purpose – Developing the body of knowledge about how facilitators act and engage with participants is essential to developing Lesson Study (LS) facilitation. This research reveals how two LS facilitators from the United Kingdom and the United States support and lead cycles.

Materials/methods – We used the Standards, Assessment, Instruction and Intervention, Leadership, and Sustainability (SAILS) framework (Hasbrouck & Denton, 2005; Hasbrouck & Michel, 2022) to explore and thematically code reflective semi-structured interviews between two LS facilitators. We coded and organized themes to explore the actions, processes, tools, and behaviors that facilitators use.

Results – Standards formed a key feature of LS facilitation. Leadership, how the facilitators intervened and supported participants to sustain LS, was a salient theme. The skills, tools, and processes used by the facilitators built upon existing knowledge of LS facilitators (de Vries & Uffen, 2021; Morago & Grigioni Baur, 2021; Mynott, 2018). A fundamental finding is that the facilitator is a leader who needs to be present enough to navigate discussions, yet invisible enough to not get in the way of participant learning.

Conclusion – Deepening our knowledge of what the facilitator can do to increase the sustainability of participant learning can help support future LS teams. How a facilitator thinks about aspects of their work in advance, which tools can be used during conversations, and how they summarize learning are all important aspects of their work.

Keywords: leadership, sustainable collaboration, relationship, communication, authenticity


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