PALS Introduces Lesson Study to Don Bosco Teachers

The Philippine Association of Lesson and Learning Study (PALS) conducted a seminar on The What, Why, and How of Lessons Study on 9 December 2017 at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac City. It was the first of PALS’ series of seminars to acquaint teachers about lesson study and how to conduct it in their schools. The speakers were Dr. Masami Isoda of the University of Tsukuba, Japan, Dr. Erlina R. Ronda and Dr. Aida Yap of the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED), and Ms. Maylani Galicia of the Department of Education, Division of Albay.

The seminar consists of four lectures and a workshop. Dr. Ronda introduced the lesson study as a form of school-based professional learning activity system. Dr. Isoda presented a research lesson studying students’ facial expressions. He also emphasized on how students use notebooks in Japan. Ms. Galicia on the other hand, shared her experiences in implementing lesson study at a school level when she was a department head and at the division level when she became a supervisor as well as the opportunities and challenges in forming communities of practice in Albay. Dr. Yap presented UP NISMED’s history in conducting lesson study in the Philippines since 2006. She also talked about how PALS was formed.

The workshop focused on formulating lessons study goals. Teachers were grouped by subject and each group was asked to formulate their lesson study goals. The seminar was concluded by awarding of certificates to the speakers and the participants which was led by Fr. Onofre Innocencio, President of PALS.

Sta Lucia High School teachers present their research in the WALS conference

L-R: Dr. Erlina Ronda, Mr. Gilbert Inocencio (Principal), Ms. Julie Reyes, Ms. Mineria Se (LS team members, presenters), Manuel Mirasol (LS Team Member)

Ms Mineria Se and Julie Reyes of Sta. Lucia High School presented their research at the World Association of Lesson Studies International Conference 2017 (WALS 2017) with the theme Bridging Research and Practice through Lesson Study.  The research, titled Adapting Lesson Study and Teaching Mathematics through Problem Solving: Tensions, Dilemmas, Opportunities, was a collaboration with Dr. Erlina Ronda of UP NISMED.

WALS is an international organization that aims to promote and advance the research and practices focused on Lesson Studies in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning. This year’s WALS conference was held on 24-27 November 2017 in Nagoya University with over 900 participants and 386 presentations from 38 countries. The participants were composed of educators, researchers and teachers doing and interested in lesson study.

Guided by the research question, What are the tensions, dilemmas and opportunities for learning in adapting lesson study?, Ms. Se and Ms. Reyes collected data from fifteen of their co-teachers through questionnaires and group interview.  These teachers had been involved in lesson study for three years. The research instruments were co-developed with Dr. Ronda.  The teacher-researchers themselves analyzed the data and presented the results from their perspective and from that of their co-teachers. Their presentation was well-received by the audience.  The study’s results resonated with the audience, especially those who are just starting their lesson study or initiating their teachers to lesson study as a school-based professional development.

With other educators interested to start lesson study in their country

Mr. Gilbert Inocencio, the principal of Sta. Lucia High School, gave his full support to the teachers not only for the research reported in the conference but also for the lesson study activities of the school.  The mathematics teachers of Sta. Lucia High School are all pioneer members of Philippine Association of Lesson and Learning Studies, Inc. (PALS).  Also, they have been presenting some of their work in conferences organized by UP NISMED, including those in 2013 and 2014. The mathematics department of Sta. Lucia High School was introduced by UP NISMED to the lesson study in 2010.  The teachers continued doing lesson study even after the project with NISMED ended in 2014.

By participating in the WALS conference, Ms. Reyes and Ms. Se, together with Mr. Inocencio and co-teacher Mr. Manuel Mirasol, earned their membership to this international organization for 2018.  This membership includes access to publications in the WALS journal, the International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies.

WALS Opening Program

Said Ms. Se of her experience:

My experience as a paper presenter in Nagoya, Japan is the highlight of my career as a public school teacher.  I was challenged to give the best that I could as I share our output in front of the different races. The preparation was tough and I had many sleepless nights. However, during the presentation, all of my anxieties disappeared and I felt so accomplished after. It made me realize that Lesson Study really opens the door of possibilities and opportunities when embraced with openness coupled with willingness.

 Not even in my wildest imagination did I think that through lesson study I will be able to experience the beauty of Nagoya, Japan.  Truly, it was an amazing experience which I engraved in my heart.

Apart from Sta. Lucia High School, Rizal High School teachers also presented at the WALS conference.


Rizal High School teacher presents in the 2017 World Association of Lesson Studies Conference

Mr. Ronald Lucasia presented their lesson study research titled Adapting Mathematical Discourse in Instruction Framework for Planning and Analyzing Research Lessons at the World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) International Conference. The conference, with the theme Bridging Research and Practice through Lesson Study, was held in Nagoya, Japan on 24-27 November 2017. WALS is an international organization of researchers, educators and teachers that aims to promote and advance the research and practices focused on Lesson Studies in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Mr. Ronald Lucasia, Dr. Erlina Ronda and Ms. Revie Santos

Mr. Lucasia’s research was done in collaboration with Mrs. Priscilla Tuazon, Grade 7 mathematics coordinator of Rizal High School, and with Dr. Erlina R Ronda of UP NISMED. Dr. Ronda introduced them to Mathematical Discourse in Instruction (MDI) Framework which is a framework for planning and analyzing the quality of mathematics lesson made available to learn in a lesson. The teachers applied the framework in their lesson study with Grade 7 teachers of their school. In the study, they sought to answer the questions (1) What is the quality of mathematics that we make available to learn in our research lessons?, and (2) Which aspect of the MDI framework is helpful and productive for us? The method involved analyzing previous versions of their research lesson on division of monomials using the framework. They used their findings to guide them in their development of the new version of the lesson. The new version was implemented and the teachers reflected on the result and use of the framework.

Rizal High School was the very first school that UP NISMED introduced to lesson study in 2006 until 2009. Mrs. Revie Santos, the mathematics department head, has been encouraging teachers to continue doing lesson study. Mr. Lucasia and Mrs. Tuazon’s group is one of the lesson study teams of the school. With support from Mrs. Santos, who also mentored Mr. Lucasia in the preparation of the presentation, the latter was able to successfully present their work in Nagoya University during the WALS conference. His presentation attracted many WALS participants.

WALS Opening Program

Mr. Lucasia has this to say about his experience:

An Indelible Experience in Nagoya, Japan

Lesson Study opened for me an avenue of opportunities. One of those was a rare opportunity to be a paper presenter in the WALS 2017 which was held at the Nagoya University in Japan. It was a memorable experience for me, together with my department head, as I got to know a lot of researchers and educators from the 35 countries that participated in the said conference. We got to see the LS showcase by some of the western and eastern countries who were also paper presenters. Also, we learned how they successfully adopted LS. This is my first time to share how we adapted the framework (Mathematics Discourse in Instruction, MDI) when we planned and analyzed our research lesson. I was very happy when some of the researchers in the audience asked questions after my presentation. I take that as a good sign that they are interested in the presentation specifically the MDI framework. The presentation went smoothly. I can even see then the facial reaction and expression of the audience, telling me that they agree to what I was saying most especially about the explanatory talk of the teachers being imitated by the students. That conference was, for me, a learning and an unforgettable experience as we witnessed how the Japanese people showcase their culture.

Apart from Rizal High School, teachers from Sta Lucia High School, also of Pasig City Schools Division also presented their Lesson Study research in Nagoya.

Officers from December 2016- December 2019


Fr. Onofre  Inocencio, SDB is also currently the Dean of the Don Bosco College – Canlubang, Calamba City.  He is the President of the Foundation for the Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE) whose advocacy is the training of private and public school teachers particularly in the field of English, Science and Mathematics.  He obtained his Doctor of Education with distinction from De La Salle University – Manila. He is currently the Vice President for External Affairs of the Technical Vocational Schools Association (TVSA). He holds three master degrees: MA in Guidance and Counseling (DLSU); MA in Educational Management (DLSU); MA in Curriculum Studies (UP). He completed his postdoctoral studies as a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Boston University, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a board member and the Chair of the Commission on Technical- Vocational Education of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Association (COCOPEA); a board member and Chair of the National Commission on Technical-Vocational Education of the Catholic Schools Association of the Philippines (CEAP) ).  He is an adamant advocate of a seamless Technical Vocational Education in the Trifocalized System of Education in the country.


Dr. Ronda is also currently the Deputy Director for Research and Extension of the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UPNISMED).  She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics education from Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia, Master of Arts in Mathematics from the UP Diliman. She recently completed her two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and has a visiting researcher status in the said university until end of 2019.  Dr. Ronda has written resource books for mathematics teachers and publishes her research works in international journals. On lesson study, Dr. Ronda has been involved in the training of teachers in the practice of lesson study since 2007. She has written two book chapters on lesson study namely Scaffolding Teacher Learning through Lesson study and Mathematical examples, tasks, and talk: A discursive lens for studying and crafting lessons. She also has been presenting her lesson study research to the international conferences organized by World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) since 2009. More recently, she mentored teachers to present their collaborative research work with her at the WALS conference in Nagoya, Japan last November 2017. She also has been serving as resource person in the lesson study initiatives of DepEd Albay.


Ms. Chavez is also currently a chair of High School Physics group of the UP National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (UP NISMED). She obtained her Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Physics from Bicol University and her Master of Science in Teaching major in Physics from De La Salle University Manila. Ms. Chavez serves as resource person in various lesson study projects and training of NISMED and leads the team in-charge of NIMSED’s lesson study website. She also has been presenting her lesson study research to the international conferences organized by World Association of Lesson Studies (WALS) the most recent of which was in 2017 and the University of Nagoya, Nagoya, Japan.


Dr. Yap is also currently the Director of the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED). She took her Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education from the University of the Philippines in 2003 and her master’s degree, also in Mathematics Education, from the University of Tsukuba, Japan in 1994.  She has been a foreign visiting research fellow at the University of Tsukuba in 2005, 2014, 2015, and 2016. It was in 2005 when she was exposed to the Japanese lesson study. Since then, she has been actively involved in promoting lesson study as a form of professional development for teachers. In connection with lesson study, she has conducted various training programs, presented research papers and participated in conferences, co-authored a book chapter, participated in the publication of a guidebook, and was involved in cross-cultural studies.  She was one of the editors of the 2015 English version of the Japanese textbooks Study with Your Friends: Mathematics for Elementary School, which consists of 10 volumes from Grades 1 to 6. She likewise was involved in the translation to English of the Japanese Junior High School Mathematics textbooks (Grades 7-9) in 2016. Both sets of textbooks were lesson study based.

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