bachelor’s degrees for future teachers in middle and high schools, and these programs have been rapidly expanding.

Most future mathematics teachers major in mathematics in college, according to Fang Wei, a teacher at Suzhou High School in Jiangsu Province. If a teacher does not major in mathematics at a normal college, he or she must pass an examination to receive the necessary certification to teach. Students study both mathematical content and pedagogy, though Chinese colleges tend to emphasize content more than pedagogy for future teachers.

Prospective teachers engage in practice teaching during their preparation. Then, once they begin working, apprentice teachers are supervised by mentors appointed by the school and they prepare lessons with their mentors, according to Hua Huang, a teaching researcher at the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission. The apprentice observes the mentor’s lessons, and the mentor reviews the apprentice’s lesson plans, observes the apprentice’s lessons, and gives immediate feedback.

PROGRESSING THROUGH THE CAREER HIERARCHY

Following their apprenticeship, teachers in China move through a clear career hierarchy. They begin at a second-rank level and then can move to first rank, to senior rank, and to a variety of “super” ranks. Teachers at more advanced levels teach the more advanced classes, including the final-year courses. Senior-rank teachers also have more opportunities to demonstrate lessons and to be part of exchange programs within a school system.

Teachers must meet specific criteria to move from one rank to the next, although criteria may vary from region to region. For example, to move from second rank to first rank in Jiangsu Province, teachers need to provide 1 year of lesson plans and be certified in English and computer literacy. They also need to complete 30 hours of continuing education. An additional 75 hours of continuing education are necessary to move from first rank to senior rank. To advance, the school recommends a teacher, and the teacher undergoes an external review process by experts in the teaching profession.

To reach higher ranks of teaching in China, teachers need to conduct research and publish their findings in scholarly journals.1 Typically, this

1

These journals in mathematics are similar to teaching journals such as Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in Middle School, and Mathematics Teachers in the United States.



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