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Sat., Dec 15, 2018
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St. Angela's College Education Department Welcomes Delegates From Japan

St. Angela's College Education Department Welcomes Delegates From Japan

Pictured are a group of Home Economics Professors, Teachers and Researchers from Japan who recently visited the Education Department in St. Angela’s College. Included are (left to right) Professor Noriko Arai from Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, Dr. Kathryn McSweeney, Ms. Shino Kanzawa from Kojimachi Girls High School, Dr. Anne Taheny, Professor Mayuko Suzuki from Osaka Kyoiku University, Ms. Reiko Isshiki from Shimane University and Ms. Fiona Crowe.

The purpose of the visit to St. Angela’s College was to share knowledge, understanding and experience of ‘lesson study’ as a form of practice-based research in education. Dr. Kathryn McSweeney gave a keynote address, along with two other international delegates from Sweden and Singapore, at an International Conference in Tokyo during August 2017. The Conference focused on the use of lesson study in Home Economics education. The visiting Japanese academics were informed about current lesson study research work in Irish post-primary schools by Dr. Kathryn McSweeney. Through this initiative, a number of Home Economics teachers are forming lesson study research groups in schools across the country. These groups are examining a specific area of practice and selecting an over-arching goal for study, for example, identifying an aspect of pupil learning that needs improvement, or an aspect of teaching that could be improved to enhance pupil learning. Sample research goals include the improvement of numeracy or literacy levels, assessment for learning, developing key skills or helping pupils grasp difficult aspects of the curriculum. These dedicated teachers are collaborating on the design and planning of a research lesson that generates discussion around the improvement of classroom pedagogy and addresses the selected goal. The lesson is taught by one teacher as the other teachers engage in live class observation and collection of data by recording pupil responses to teaching methods. After the class is implemented, the group meet to collaboratively discuss insights and learning about pupil learning and findings are used to redesign the lesson and inform future teaching and learning. The revised lesson is taught in another classroom if desired and studied and improved again.

Professor Noriko Arai and her research team visited a B.A./P.M.E. 2 Home Economics pedagogy class. Professor Arai shared knowledge on Home Economics Education in Japan with the students. The visitors were impressed by the participation and engagement of the B.A./P.M.E. students in class. They visited a local post primary school and attended a senior cycle Home Economics class. The group then travelled on with Dr. McSweeney to visit the School of Education in Galway. Overall, this was a wonderful opportunity to review lesson study practice in the field of Home Economics education in both Japan and Ireland and to develop further collaborative research opportunities.

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