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The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop
riculum. In part, this is because China has a national curriculum, while we spend time aligning resources, so we don’t have as much time to focus on implementation.”
Finally, she highlighted the attention given to teacher research in China. “In China we see a very efficient system of integrating and aligning teaching and the study of teaching. There does not appear to be a separation between research and practice. Our impression is that Chinese teachers talk about teaching specifically, not generally, and about the practical aspects of teaching and not about teaching in a general sense. We feel that we have something to learn about that.”
Nickerson mentioned that U.S. participants were curious to learn more about the ways in which teachers talk to each other, including how critiques are given and the level of analysis. They also wanted to learn more about the interactions of university professors with teachers. Many U.S. participants still had questions about the relative emphases on mathematical content and pedagogy in teacher preparation. And they wanted to know more about the use of both formative and summative assessments in China; for example, how do students perceive and prepare for the high-stakes tests that mark the end of middle school and end of high school?
THE CHINESE PERSPECTIVE
Li observed that Chinese participants were very impressed by the U.S. teachers who participated in the workshop, and especially by their ability to motivate students to learn through a wide variety of activities. There seems to be equality between teachers and students in the United States. In Chinese schools, many beginning teachers are very conservative and traditional.
Many Chinese participants expressed interest in the training and certification that U.S. teachers undergo. In China, commented Li, rankings are based on a teacher’s daily performance, and “this evaluation system will be enhanced if we establish some kind of training system to identify and certify master teachers more rigorously and objectively.”
Li expressed admiration for standards that have been developed in the United States in such areas as teaching effectiveness and assessment. Because these standards have been established through research, they are rigorous, he mentioned. The Chinese teachers also would like to learn more about teacher training at all levels. Case studies of teacher training would