Developing teachers for the new century: Multi-dimensions of teacher performance

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Towards the 21st Century, the educational environment is changing at a very rapid rate and the roles and responsibilities of teachers are becoming more complex and demanding in most parts of the world. As teachers are the key actor for education quality and school effectiveness, there is an urgent need to understand the complex nature of teacher performance and develop the necessary teacher education and development programs for them. This paper aims to report the development of a multi-dimensional framework of teacher performance and draw implications for restructuring teacher education. Traditionally, studies on teacher performance and effectiveness focused mainly on the instructional behaviors of teachers, particular at the classroom level. This simplistic conception has limitations and the findings of these studies often cannot provide comprehensive implications for improving teacher education for the new century. Based on the results of an empirical study involving 789 teachers in 99 work groups of 46 primary schools in Hong Kong, this paper developed a five-dimensional framework of teacher performance, including technical performance, human performance, political performance, cultural performance, and renewal performance. - Technical performance refers to teachers' performance in planning and organizing curricular materials, classroom management, delivering instructions and presenting materials. - Human performance refers to teachers' performance in developing human relationships, providing social supports and attending students' motivation at classroom level. - Political performance refers to teachers' performance in using social power, resolving and managing conflicts in classroom. - Cultural performance refers to teacher's performance in developing shared goals for students, transforming students' values and norms to support active learning and collaboration in classrooms. - Renewal performance refers to teacher's performance in self-learning, reflection, and pursuing professional development. Based on the framework and the findings, this paper analyses the potential gaps, limitations and problems in theoretical conception, content relevance, and existing practice of teacher professional development and supervision. It is suggested that teacher development programs for the new century should be restructured from traditional simplistic conception to the new multi- dimensional conception according to the framework proposed by this paper. A number of implications will be advanced for developing and supervising teachers for the new century in both local and international contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1999


Tsui, K. T., & Cheng, Y. C. (1999, September). Developing teachers for the new century: Multi-dimensions of teacher performance. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 1999, University of Helsinki, Finland.


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