The good teacher

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/30 19:38:39

UNESCO launches teaching education center at Shanghai Normal University

Members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to support the establishment of a teacher education center at Shanghai Normal University during the 39th general conference session of UNESCO in Paris two months ago.

UNESCO expects the center to be a research and resource managing center, providing services and setting standards for teacher education.

UNESCO also assigned four functions to the teacher education center: knowledge production, capacity establishment, technology service and information sharing.

Zhang Minxuan is the director of the preparatory group for the center in Shanghai. He is also the director of Research Institute for International and Comparative Education at Shanghai Normal University. According to him, the establishment of a teacher education center shows that Shanghai's educational system has gained recognition worldwide.

From follower to pioneer

It is noteworthy that pupils from Shanghai ranked first in terms of reading, mathematics, science and financial knowledge for two consecutive years by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

PISA is organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to test 15-year-old students around the world on their math, science and reading abilities.

A goal of UNESCO's Education 2030 Agenda is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for people worldwide.

It also stressed that the key to realize this goal is to cultivate high-quality teachers.

It is estimated that almost 8 million secondary and elementary school teachers are needed worldwide. Without international exchange and cooperation, many countries and regions, especially underdeveloped nations, are unable to cultivate teaching staff that meets demand.

According to Zhang, China has been following other countries and regions' educational systems over the past century, but now it is time for China to share its experience in the field with other countries and regions.

Official statistics show that there are now 157,200 full-time teachers in Shanghai's kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools. Among them, 84.7 percent (133,200) have at least a bachelor's degree; over 50 percent are under 40 years-old.

Sharing Shanghai's secrets

Shanghai's high-quality teaching is a symbol of the city's remarkable development of its local education system, and also an asset for the whole world.

After PISA's report on Shanghai was published, American journalist Thomas Loren Friedman came to Shanghai to observe its elementary school education system for his 2013 article "Shanghai Secret" in the New York Times.

Zhang pointed out that Shanghai's performance in education is the reason why members of UNESCO passed without debate the decision to set up a teacher education center here. With the new center, the city now has a responsibility to share its secrets of success in education with the rest of the world, he said.

To fulfill the functions of "knowledge production" and "capacity establishment," a series of research and development activities and academic training are expected to be launched by the center.

"Technology service" will require the center to use information communication technology to provide teaching services to underdeveloped countries and regions in Asia and Africa.

Another function of the center will be "information sharing." To realize this, the center will carry out close cooperation with UNESCO and other organizations, inviting teachers from different cultural backgrounds to share their teaching experiences.

This story was based on a report by Jiefang Daily.

Teachers lecturing students Photo: VCG


Teachers lecturing students Photo: VCG


Teachers lecturing students Photo: VCG



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