What is Lesson Study for ISEND

Lesson Study is an internationally known model of teacher-led practitioner research which aims to support professional development and facilitate reflective practice. Originally developed in Japan, the approach engages three teachers in a study-plan-do-review cycle.

The version of the Lesson Study utilised in this project has been extensively researched by Professor Brahm Norwich (University of Exeter) and is designed to support the development and adaption of teaching approaches for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The study-plan-do-review cycle is broken down into 11 Steps: Steps 1-5 address the required Lesson Study preparations, whereas Steps 6-11 focus on the Lesson Study reviewing, planning, teaching and evaluation; see below for further information.


  • Step 1 - Decide on pedagogic focus and case pupils
  • Step 2 - Arrange who will be in the Lesson Study team; decide on roles and how the team will function
  • Step 3 - Decide on what knowledge base to inform the pedagogic focus. If completing an interprofessional Lesson Study consider: What knowledge will the Outside professional bring to the Lesson Study process?
  • Step 4 - Decide on the research questions relevant to the 2 case pupils
  • Step 5 - Decide on a timeline and how this can be arranged

Review and Planning

  • Step 6 - first Review and Planning meeting (RP1)


  • Step 7 - Teaching 1st Research Lesson (RL1) joint observing and assess the learning of case pupils

Review and Planning

  • Step 8 - Second Review and Planning meeting (RP2)


  • Step 9 - Teaching second research lesson (RL2), joint observing and assess the learning of case pupils

Review and Planning / Teaching

  • Step 10 - Go to Step 8 for RP3 and Step 9 for RL3.

Review and Planning

  • Step 11 - RP4 final review of the achieved outcomes

Evaluate and summarise findings/outcomes and communicate


  • LS= Lesson Study
  • RP = Review and planning meeting
  • RL = Research Lesson

Source for Lesson Study for ISEND, 11 Steps.

Lesson Study for inclusion and special educational needs and disabilities (ISEND) provides an opportunity for three teachers to reflexively develop their confidence, knowledge, understanding and/or practice for ISEND and removing barriers to achievement.

Participating schools and colleges will benefit from personalised guidance from leading academics in the field of ISEND (who are also qualified teachers). Each participating setting will learn how to setup and run their own Lesson Study for ISEND project.

To participate in this project, a group of three teachers from one setting will need to identify:

Further information about Lesson Study can be found on the University of Exeter webpages Lesson Study for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.