The Chinese model of learning to teach through mentorship

Sin Yee Angelina LAW

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


This paper reports part of an ethnographic study on training primary school teachers in the cultural context of China, Anl analysis of the data suggested that student-teachers spent most of their time on lesson observation and preparing lessons! under the supervision of the mentor teachers during their teaching practice periods. Previous studies queried how thej technocratic and mimetic approach could function to modernize the nation in the 21st century. By examining the natives'! view, the present study found that multiple modeling was the major approach of learning to teach by the pre-servicej student-teachers. Instead of blindly accepting whatever they observed or were instructed, continuous distillation occurred I as the student-teachers eradicated the impurities of the different models they encountered and allowed only the best oh everything to be retained to form their ever-renewing conceptions of teaching. This paper argues that being supported by; ? the workplace culture of "passing on of experience (xinhuao xiangchuan)" in primary schools and the hierarchical role structure of the collective Chinese society, an important function of teacher education in China is to socialize student-teachers to become life-long learners who are ready to engage in continuous professional development throughout their career. The study offers an alternative interpretation for teacher education that has been taking place in China. It highlights how traditional culture functions to shape the practices of teacher education at large.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


Law, A. S.-Y. (2004, July). The Chinese model of learning to teach through mentorship. Paper presented at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly 2004: Teachers as learners: Building communities for professional development, Hong Kong, China.


  • Teacher Education and Professional Development
  • Teacher Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The Chinese model of learning to teach through mentorship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.