Lesson Study and pupil voice: Creating the space for empowerment

David Allan*, Ella Michelle O'Doherty, Paul Smalley, David Boorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper looks at the use of lesson study in primary schools in England as a powerful tool for changing teachers’ perceptions and for empowering children in their learning. It draws on a Bourdieusian framework to illustrate the capacity for lesson study to challenge existing school inequities that can arise from an imbalance of cultural, and often social, capital. It is argued that the combination of an intense focus on two/three case pupils and a post-lesson discussion involving those pupils provides a critical space for disaffected children to challenge the current hegemonic capital of others. The research draws on data collected in the north-west of England through 28 interviews with teachers and observation of ten post-lesson discussions. Bourdieu’s concept of capital is used to analyse teachers’ perceptions of pupil hegemony and to frame lesson study as a potential vehicle for generating equality in the classroom. Thus, lesson study is seen to promote a dialogic space for critical thinking in order to facilitate a growth in children’s self-esteem. As such, previously disengaged children are empowered to contribute to the teaching and learning process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventWorld Association of Lesson Studies 2016 - University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20166 Sept 2016


ConferenceWorld Association of Lesson Studies 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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