A short description of the trip leaders’ background:

Akihiko Takahashi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education,
Director, Asia-Pacific Mathematics and Science Education Collaborative (AP*MSEC)
School of Education, DePaul University (Chicago, IL)

Akihiko Takahashi has 30 years of experience in mathematics education including 19 years of teaching in elementary and middle school grades, where he taught all grades from first grade through sixth grade. As a teacher, he observed many research lessons—especially in mathematics—and he participated in lesson study several times every year. He spent most of his teaching career as a member of the mathematics department at the Setagaya Elementary School, affiliated with Tokyo Gakugei University. During his 19 years of teaching, he has taught more than 400 children and about 200 student teachers. In addition, since coming to the U.S., he has been very active educating American teachers on implementing lesson study in the Mathematics field as well as improving mathematics content knowledge and classroom instruction. He also actively collaborates with teachers in Canada, Singapore, and Thailand to improve teaching and learning mathematics. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his doctoral research focused on using technology in problem solving in middle school mathematics.

Tad Watanabe, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA)

Tad Watanabe is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Kennesaw State University, located just outside of Atlanta. He received his Ph. D in mathematics education from Florida State University. As a native of Japan, Tad was always interested in mathematics education practices in his home country. He spent seven months in Japan during the summer and fall of 2000 and attended more than 15 lesson study open houses and school-based lesson study meetings. He has published several articles on Japanese elementary school math curriculum and lesson study. His article "Learning from Japanese Lesson Study" appeared in the March 2002 issue of Educational Leadership. Tad has collaborated with lesson study groups in Rochester, NY, Volusia County, FL, and at Paterson Public School No. 2 in Paterson, NJ.

Makoto Yoshida, Ph.D.
President and Founder of Global Education Resources (Madison, NJ)
Director of Center for Lesson Study, College of Education, William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ)

Makoto Yoshida is a founder and president of Global Education Resources. He also works as a director at Center for Lesson Study at College of Education, William Paterson University. His doctoral dissertation on lesson study in Japan, presented to the University of Chicago, helped introduce lesson study to the U.S. Yoshida coined the term “lesson study” by translating the original Japanese term “jugyokenkyu” in this dissertation research. He is considered one of the foremost researchers and educators of lesson study in the U.S., and his work is cited heavily in Stigler and Hiebert's book, The Teaching Gap (1999) (Chapter 7, Beyond Reform: Japan's Approach to the Improvement of Classroom Teaching). In addition, Yoshida coauthored a book entitled “Lesson Study: A Japanese Approach to Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learning,” (2004) based on this dissertation research on lesson study in Japan with Clea Fernandez of Teachers College, Colombia University. He also co-edited a book entitled “Building Our Understanding of Lesson Study,” a comprehensive introduction to lesson study for teachers with Patsy Wang-Iverson. In addition, Akihiko Takahashi (DePaul University) and Yoshida's paper on lesson study, entitled “Ideas for Establishing Lesson-Study Communities,” was published in NCTM's journal, Teaching Children Mathematics in 2004. He oversaw the English translation of Tokyo Shoseki’s Mathematics for Elementary School (Grades 1 to 6) to support lesson study in the United States. He has been collaborating with numerous schools and districts to implement lesson study. Paterson Public School No. 2 (Paterson, NJ), George Washington Elementary School (Mahwah, NJ), School District of Lancaster (Lancaster, PA) are just a few. He also collaborates with the Northern New Jersey Lesson Study Group lead by Bill Jackson (Paterson Public School No.2). Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Makoto came to the U.S. to study at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, where he received his B.A. in education and psychology. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in education from the University of Chicago.