Linking teacher development and school improvement: New paper with Liu published in Global Education

A new article based on my research with Yunqiu Liu from East China Normal University has been published (in Chinese) in the Chinese journal Global Education. It’s available to download from the Articles page of this site.

The publicity that Shanghai receives for its PISA success and sometimes its teacher education (usually to suggest – incorrectly – that universities aren’t involved or are marginal) is usually based on the most superficial kind of policy tourism. The recent report that, in Shanghai, mentors in schools determine the qualification of teachers is just plain wrong. Teacher education of all kinds in China (including the special region of Shanghai) is dominated, rightly or wrongly, by universities – and the Normal universities in particular. Bejing and East China Normal (ECNU, Shanghai) have national responsibilities to help universities in other parts of China to develop their initial teacher education (Bejing) and continuing professional development (ECNU).

ECNU has been doing great work for many years in Shanghai schools to offer innovative professional learning opportunities to teachers within a research-based model, working alongside academics. A lot of this work has been improving pedagogy and helping teachers become more responsive to the students in their classroom. They’ve done great work on science education and the development of an alternative set of measures to PISA (the ‘Green Index’), in particular.

In this article, Yunqiu and I report on a pilot project that learned from ECNU’s experience and sought to integrate initial teacher education, continuing professional development and school improvement. The title (in English) suggests the argument: Bridging the Individual and the Collective in Designs for Teacher Development’). Rather than aim for the production of a succession of competent individual practitioners working in isolation, try to re-orient the work of teacher development so that it has a collective focus and is genuinely developing of the profession.

I don’t read Mandarin characters so would be glad to hear from those who can what they think of the translation!

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