Characterizing Mathematics Teaching Research Specialists’ Mentoring in the Context of Chinese Lesson Study

  • Feishi Gu
  • Lingyuan Gu
Part of the Advances in Mathematics Education book series (AME)


This study examined how mathematics teaching research specialists mentored practicing teachers during post-lesson debriefs of a lesson study in China. Based on a systematic, fine-grained analysis of 107 h of videotaped mentoring meetings of 20 groups of teachers and teaching research specialists from different elementary schools, this study revealed that the Chinese teaching research specialists paid a great deal of attention to practical knowledge which consists of setting student learning goals, designing instructional tasks, formative assessment of student learning, and improving instructional behaviors. Less attention was paid to mathematics content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge in general. Meanwhile, the teaching research specialists tended to comment on lessons in general and addressed anticipated problems based on their previous experience, with less attention to addressing issues raised by the teachers or engaging in dynamic dialogue with them. On the basis of the data analysis, a framework for analyzing mentoring activities emerged. The strengths and weaknesses of the teaching research specialists’ mentoring strategies are identified through the framework, and suggestions for the improvement of teaching research specialists’ mentoring strategies are discussed.


Teaching research specialists (TRSs) Teaching research system Chinese lesson study Mentoring strategies 



We thank all of the teachers, teaching research specialists, and researchers who were involved in this joint effort for their dedicated time and expertise. We very much appreciate Dr. Rongjin Huang and Dr. Teresa Schmidt from Middle Tennessee State University for their help in editing and proofreading the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feishi Gu
    • 1
  • Lingyuan Gu
    • 2
  1. 1.Xuhui Institute of Education ShanghaiShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Academy of Education SciencesShanghaiChina

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