Teachers Collaborate Using Lesson Study:
Implications for Early Childhood Social Studies Students
Janie D. Hubbard
The University of Alabama
Students often do not understand the relevance of social studies, are not interested in it, and some early childhood students confuse it with other disciplines. Various external and internal factors prevent teachers from providing meaningful social studies instruction; however, practical solutions can be approached more appropriately and interestingly through collaboration. A team of second grade teachers’ participation in lesson study, a 50 plus-year old Japanese collaborative model, and implications of their activities for 41 students are reported in this interpretative case study. Data concerning students’ perceptions of their social studies classroom environments and attitudes about social studies lessons were collected before and after the lesson study, using surveys and focus group interviews. There were slight changes, both positive and negative, in students’ perceptions of their social studies learning environments, though they were puzzled about the discipline of social studies. Early childhood stakeholders benefit from learning what young students articulate about social studies and social studies learning environments. The description of team collaboration, with early childhood social studies, could be helpful also to teachers engaging in job-embedded professional development.
Key words: early childhood education, primary education, early childhood social studies, social studies, lesson study, teacher collaboration, classroom environment, constructivist environment, social studies marginalization, job-embedded professional development