Beijing Institute of Education. The first is master teacher at the municipal level, the second is leading teacher at the municipal or district level, and the third is superrank teacher. Elevation of teachers to these positions is approved by the Beijing Commission of Education. Master and leading teachers are selected every 3 years for 3-year terms, after which time they have to be reselected. Only 2 percent of teachers fall into the master teacher category, so there are fewer than 2,000 among all K–12 teachers in Beijing. In mathematics, there are only about 140 master teachers in all of Beijing. The designation of leading teachers is even more selective. In Beijing, there are only about 30 leading K–12 teachers in mathematics, mostly in high school. At the highest level in the professional development hierarchy, there are only about 150 K–12 superrank teachers in all subjects in Beijing. The superrank title lasts a lifetime, so a teacher needs to retire for someone else to be named.

In Shanghai, levels in the professional development hierarchy are known as city-level and district-level teaching researchers. The individuals in these positions might play the role of a coach to teachers, demonstrate exemplary practices, do research on teaching, and conduct open lessons. Every school has a teaching research group, and there are research offices at the city and district levels as well. The system combines the training of teachers and research on teaching through a long-term and gradual process of professional development.

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