Pre-service Training of Primary and Secondary School Teachers
General Higher Teacher Education
General higher teacher education in China aims mainly at the training of secondary school teachers. In 1998, there were 229 general higher education institutions in China with an enrollment of 690,000. Normal universities, teacher-training institutes and teacher training colleges enroll graduates from senior secondary schools. Four-year programs are offered for training senior secondary school teachers,2-year or 3 year programs are mainly to train teachers for junior secondary schools. The specialties are as follows£º Pedagogy, Pre-school Education, Special Education, Psychology, Educational Technology, Chinese Language and Literature, Languages and Literature of Minority Nationalities, Ideological and Political Education, History, English, Russian, Japanese, Mathematics and applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Music, Fine Arts and Physical Education. Besides, postgraduate programs are offered in general higher teacher education institutions. At the same time, general higher teacher education institutions are playing active parts in providing in-service training for secondary school teachers.
Regular Secondary Teacher Education
Regular secondary teacher education aims mainly at training teachers for primary schools, kindergartens and special education. In 1998, there were 875 regular secondary colleges of teacher training in China with 920, 000 enrollments. Out of these 875 colleges, there were 811 regular secondary teacher training schools,61 for pre-school education and 3 for special education.
--The main task for regular secondary teacher education is to prepare teachers for primary school education. They enroll graduates from junior secondary schools, and offer either 3-year programs or 4-year programs. The courses are made up of 4 parts£ºcompulsory courses, optional courses, teaching practice and extracurricular activities. Compulsory courses are£ºIdeological and Political Education, Chinese £¡§including Methodology of Chinese Teaching in Primary Schools£©, Mathematics £¡§including Methodology of Mathematics Teaching in Primary Schools £©, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Psychology, Pedagogy for Primary School, Basic Audio-visual Education, Physical Education, Music, Fine Arts, Laboring Skills, and Basics of Computer Application. In accordance with the regional education needs, the optional courses include subjects that help broadening and deepening the students' knowledge and fostering their interests and aptitudes. Furthermore, vocational and technical subjects are offered to meet the requirements of the local economic development. Teaching practice includes visits to primary schools, educational survey, teaching probation and experimental teaching. The extracurricular activities are conducted by means of lectures, organizing special interest groups and conducting social surveys to educate students in disciplines, science and technology, arts and sports.
--The main task of secondary pre-school teacher training schools is to educate kindergarten teachers. In 1998, there were 61 secondary pre-school teacher training schools in China with 58,000 enrollments£® In addition, such programs are offered in some regular secondary teacher training colleges and vocational senior secondary schools. Secondary pre-school teacher training schools enroll graduates from junior secondary schools, offering 3-year or 4-year programs. The curriculums consist of 4 parts £ºcompulsory courses, optional courses, teaching practice and extracurricular activities. Compulsory courses include £º Ideological and Political Education, Chinese, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography, History, Basic Audio visual Education, Health Protection for Kindergarten Children, preschool Psychology, Survey of Preschool Education, Design and Instructions of Preschool Educational Activities, Music, Fine Arts, Dancing, Physical Education and Laboring Skills. Geared to the requirements of local kindergartens, optional courses are designed to broaden the students, knowledge and develop their interests and special skills. Teaching practice includes visits to local kindergartens, on-the-spot observation of kindergarten children's mental and physical growth, teaching probation and student teaching themselves, and services for kindergartens. Extracurricular activities are intended to promote teaching in science and technology as well as in arts and sports through lectures, get-togethers and social surveys.
-The main task of secondary special teacher- training schools is to educate special education teachers for primary schools. In 1998,there were 33 secondary special education teacher-training institutions in China, 3 out of which were fully devoted to special education institutions.
Secondary teacher training institutes for special education offer three specialties£º education for the deaf, for the blind and for the mentally retarded£® Normally, they enroll graduates from junior secondary schools and the schooling lasts either 4 years or 3 years. The courses are made up of 4 parts that are compulsory courses, optional courses, teaching practice and extracurricular activities. The compulsory courses are classified into two categories £º public and specialized compulsory courses. The public ones include Ideological and Political Education, Chinese, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Fine Arts, Basic Pedagogy, Basic Psychology, Introduction to Special Education and Laboring Skills£® The specialized ones are separately offered for the above-mentioned three specialties. They include Psychology, Pedagogy, Methodology and other courses for prevention and examination of deformity. Altogether there are 22 specialized compulsory courses. The optional courses are based on the local needs for special primary education, including subjects that are helpful to broaden and deepen students' knowledge, to develop their interests and special skills, and vocational and technical subjects to meet the demands of local special education. Teaching practice includes visiting, probating and assisting special education teachers to organize activities, educational surveys and student teaching themselves. Extracurricular activities provide education in science and technology, arts and sports through lectures, get-togethers and social surveys, and through organizing students to coach voluntarily in special schools and local educational organizations.
In addition, optional courses of special education are offered in regular secondary schools of teacher training so as to enable their graduates to meet the future challenges of having handicapped children to study in the main stream.
Teacher Education for Ethnic Minorities
China is a unified multi-ethnic nation with 56 ethnic minority groups£® The population of these minorities is 108 million accounting for 8.98£¥ of the total. Education of minority ethnic. groups constitutes an important part in the national education undertaking. The country encourages the expansion of teacher education for minorities to promote the development of education in the regions where minority peoples reside. A group of higher teacher training institutions and colleges and secondary teacher training schools are responsible for teaching and training minority teachers. Teacher Training Center in the Northwest and English Teacher Training Center in the Southwest are established in the regions where the minority people concentrate. Parts of the nation's institutions and comprehensive universities also offer programs for training minority education teachers. The reform of minority teacher education is undergoing continuously and it is on the way to train versatile teachers with practical skills.