Status of Primary and Secondary School Teacher Training
In-service training of teachers in primary and secondary schools can be divided into degree and non-degree education. Degree education includes not only the make-up education for in-service teachers without qualified certificates but also the upgrading education for in service teachers with qualified certificates.
The non-degree education for in-service teachers is the main parts of continuing education, which has been the key of secondary and primary teacher training. The State Education Commission during the l991-1995 five year-plan period issued Suggestions on Continuing Education for Primary School Teachers, Suggestions on Training Backbone Teachers of Primary Schools, Suggestions on Training Fresh Primary School Teachers during Probation Period and Suggestions on Training Basic Skills of Primary School Teachers£® Continuing education is firstly developed among the primary school teachers. The training are mainly on strengthening political thoughts, ethics, educational theories and teaching abilities for those in-service teachers to obtain teachers' certificates. In-service teacher training institutes and departments in the secondary teacher training schools are the important bases for continuing education for primary school teachers. Continuing education of primary school teachers can be divided into two parts, probation period training of new teachers and post training of existing teachers. The thoughts of contribution to education, ardent love for education and students, familiarization with education regulations and teaching outlines, common rules on textbooks and teaching and good professional ethics are formed through probation training£® Post training is conducted separately according to the present job responsibility, qualifications and parts of post requirements at a higher level£® It helps teachers accomplish their tasks and create conditions for promotion. Since the quantity and quality of backbone teachers is the foundation of teaching quality and representing overall teaching levels, the training of these teachers, especially those who are leading specialists should be emphasized. The continuing education for primary school teachers was speeded up after the Fifth National Meeting of Teacher Education held in 1996£® At present,51 regions in 23 provinces have organized the experimental continuing education programs. Suggestions on Strengthening Regional Experiment on Continuing Education for Secondary and Primary School Teachers were promulgated in 1997 by the former State Education Commission. The targets, contents, administration, responsibilities of levels of administrative departments and roles played by levels of teacher training institutions, science and research institutes and audio-visual programs were stipulated in it£® The Teacher Education Department of the State Education Commission issued a series of guiding documents including the Guidelines on Course Development for Continuing Education of Secondary and Primary School Teachers£¨hereinafter refer to Guideline£© in 1997. It is a reference for curriculum development£® The Guideline is divided into two parts-primary school and secondary school, and each part is consisted of two categories-public compulsory and optional courses and specialized compulsory and optional courses. Altogether, there are 808 courses covering 8 major branches. They are ideological and political education and professional ethics, education theoretical research, modern educational technology, teaching outline and textbook analysis, training of pedagogical skills, discussion on disciplined education theory, specialized research on education and teaching, and renew and expansion of knowledge. The methods used for compilation of continuing education textbooks for secondary and primary school teachers are a combination of national edition and regional editions with the latter as the main part£® The Ministry of Education organized national compilation of some textbooks for public compulsory courses such as Survey of Deng Xiaoping's Theory, Professional Ethics of Secondary and Primary School Teachers, Basic Methodology, Modern Education Technology£® To improve the professional ethics of primary and secondary teachers is the key part of continuing education. In 1997, the Teacher Education Department of the State Education Commission promulgated Suggestions on Strengthening Professional Ethics Education in Continuing Education for Secondary and Primary School Teachers£® It regulated the guiding principles, targets, contents, measures, examination and verification system and strengthening the administration and leadership. It emphasized on that new concepts and ideas should be adopted in research. The contents and forms of professional ethics education should be stipulated scientifically. New contents should be added with the development of the society.
The Ministry of Education will issue soon Regulations on Continuing Education for Secondary and Primary School Teachers in order to set up the continuing education system. It will define the contents, categories, organization administration, infrastructure standards, examination and verification, awards and penalties of continuing teacher education.
In 1999, the State Council forwarded the Action Plan for Rejuvenating Education to Face 21st Century drafted by the Ministry of Education. There were two major objectives in the "Trans-Century Teachers Training Project" in the plan. One was to complete the continuing education and training of present principles and specialized teachers of secondary and primary schools in 3 years. The other was to select and train 100,000 backbone teachers of vocational secondary schools and primary schools in 2 years, of which l0,000 will be trained through programs directly organized by the Ministry of Education. Ministry of Education is in the process of implementation now.