Designing Professional Development/China
Teacher training is an important part of Chinese education system. It is ensured by the administrations of different levels, namely, the Ministry of Education, education departments of provinces/autonomous regions and municipalities, and municipal education commissions of different cities/counties/districts. The trainings are offered in different forms including face-to-face training in training institutions, online training, and on-site programs offered in schools.
Teacher Continuing Education Regulation
The Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China enacted Teacher Continuing Education Regulation in 1999. The regulation states that participating in continuing education (professional development) is the rights and obligations of school teachers. Local government at all levels should support teachers’ professional development.
The training is expected to improve teachers’ overall quality including professional ethics, subject knowledge, teaching skills, educational theory and practices, and education technology. A typical training cycle is 5 years.
Organization and Responsibilities
The responsibilities of schools, training institutions, and education administrative departments of all levels are listed below:
- The Ministry of Education will convey principles and policies, develop or approve essential national level training materials, establish assessment systems, and provide guidelines for provincial education departments.
- Provincial education departments are responsible for the implementation, supervision, and evaluation of teacher training in their regions.
- Municipal education commissions of city, counties, or districts are responsible for the management of the teacher training under the guidance of the provincial education departments.
- Normal universities will implement the training programs under the guidance of the government education administrations. If approved by the government education administrations, other colleges, universities, and educational institutions can provide teacher training programs that comply with the national regulations and standards.
- Primary and secondary schools shall make arrangements for teachers to participate in off-site or remote continuing education programs or organize various forms of trainings onsite.
Evaluation and Incentive
Teachers are required to attend training. Educational administrative departments of local governments at all levels will establish assessment systems for teacher continuing education. The evaluation results will be one of the factors for teacher appointment and promotion. Meanwhile, institutions and training programs are evaluated by the educational administrative departments to ensure quality. Institutions that are not approved by the educational administrative departments are not allowed to offer teacher training programs; training programs that do not meet the standards will be terminated.
The trainings contain both degree and non-degree programs. Qualified teachers will have opportunities to pursue advanced degrees. The non-degree training types are listed below:
- New teacher training: This training is to prepare new teachers for their job. Every new teacher should have at least 120 hours of training during the probationary period.
- Professional development: This program aims to improve current teachers’ skills for their job requirements. The training time should be at least 240 hours in each 5-year cycle.
- Key teacher training: This is a high standard training program to prepare proficient young and middle-aged teachers to become key teachers and to improve the skills of the existing key teachers. These key teachers are exemplary roles for other teachers.
National Teacher Training Program(国陪计划)
Started 2010, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance enforced National Teacher Training Program(NTTP) to improve elementary and secondary school teachers' overall quality, especially rural teachers in remote areas. The central government invested 550 million yuan per year in 2010-2012 to support the implementation of this program.
The National Teacher Training Program includes two projects: Exemplary Training Project and Central and Western China Rural Key Teacher Training Project.
Exemplary Training Project
The government allocates special funds to support the Ministry of Education to implement the Exemplary Training for the provinces. This program aims to train key teachers, develop and distribute high quality national training materials, and provide models and guidelines for teacher training programs. This project will also provide strong support for Central and Western China Rural Key Teacher Training Project.
Central and Western China Rural Key Teacher Training Project
This project aims to improve the teacher training system and to improve the teachers’ professional level in rural areas of central and western China. The training programs include long-time training, short-term focused training, and remote training.
In 2010, the central government allocated 50 million RMB special funds to the Exemplary Training Project and 500 million RMB special funds to the Central and Western China Rural Key Teacher Training Project.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for the evaluation and approval of the experts and materials for the NTTP program from regional nominations. For example, in 2011, the ministry approved 500 NTTP experts including professors, researchers, and school teachers with expertise in different fields of education. The ministry also approved training materials in the forms of books, audio video disks, and online classes to cover a broad range of areas such as different subjects for each grade level, parent teacher conference best practices, and education technology. In addition, the ministry provides guideline for different situations. For example, the ministry provided guideline for bilingual education for minority ethnic groups.
Mean while, the ministry also accredits national exemplary institutions. The second group of institutions approved by the ministry contains 15 institutions, each with specific programs. For example, the Capital Normal University is approved for high school music; Beijing No 4 High School (a magnet school) is approved for high school physics; China Education Television is qualified for elementary school social study and elementary school art.
There are many organizations that offer on-line teacher training. For example, the National Teachers' Continuous Education Network (继教网 or "Jiajiao Net") provides nation-wide online training programs for school teachers and principals. It is approved by the Ministry of Education, led by Northeast Normal University, and sponsored by eighteen provincial normal universities. This network has built training platform at all levels, including provincial portal, regional and local portal. From 2002 to 2009, it had trained 2 million teachers.
Jijiao net offers a central point for teachers to locate training information. For example, Jijiao provides general information and national training from its main website. This main site also includes links to different provincial networks. Similarly, provincial level information and training programs as well as links to specific local training websites are available on provincial level Jijiao network.
- http://www.moe.edu.cn/ for Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China
- http://www.gpjh.cn/cms for Nationa Teacher Trainging Rrogram
- http://guopei.teacher.com.cn for National Teacher Training Program Channel
- http://www.teacher.com.cn for National Teachers' Continuing Education Network
- http://www.qgjszy.org.cn/xpe/portal/eddbb35f-107b-1000-81cf-1e18826579c? for National Teacher training material
- http://www.moe.edu.cn/publicfiles/business/htmlfiles/moe/moe_621/201005/88484.html accessed Nov 2012
- http://www.gov.cn/zwgk/2010-06/30/content_1642031.htm accessed Nov 30 2012