A Chinese model of teacher education reform: Institutional pathways and policy implications from case studies in a cultural perspective

Jun LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


At present, China has the largest system of basic education and the largest teacher education system in the world. Since the 1990s, China's teacher education system has been undergoing radical transformations brought about by multiple national incentives to achieving educational excellence and competitiveness in the era of globalization. The vision and mission of teacher education have changed significantly: teachers' roles are redefined in order for them to respond to the new demanding societal environment; the "market" for preparing teachers is now shared by various competitors; new degrees and programs are set up for prospective teachers. The implementation process of the national policy of reform, however, has not been paid enough attention to. Through using the comparative study approach in using two cases of institutions in China, this paper looks into how Chinese teacher education universities have responded differently to the national reform from a cultural perspective. It focuses on the changes in institutional visions, missions and societal commitments, and that strategies that the two cases have adopted for the implementation of the national reform. Meanwhile, the paper also examines conflicts among stakeholders and barriers arising from internal and external tensions in this process. Furthermore, the paper compares how the two types of teacher education institutions have striven for a balance between quality and quantity, disciplinary comprehensivization and uniqueness, the government and market, and between globalization and location. It concludes that the Chinese model of teacher education reform sheds new light on better understanding the complex implementation process, which is deemed as a key to achieving policy success.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010


education system
teacher's role
basic education
university education


Li, J. (2010, December). A Chinese model of teacher education reform: Institutional pathways and policy implications from case studies in a cultural perspective. Paper presented at the 2nd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research: Teacher Education for the Future: International Perspectives, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.