Beijing Normal University on mission to raise national standards
The upcoming sixth China Education Innovation Expo in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, will set up a separate exhibition area for Beijing Normal University, which includes a themed exhibition area for BNU's project to strengthen teaching force.
At the same time, a forum centering on the project to strengthen teaching force is to kick off during the expo, highlighting the creation of teachers in underdeveloped areas, promoting the spirit of educators and cultivating "Teachers with Four Virtues" that meet the expectations of the Party and the people.
To serve national strategies such as building a strong education nation and rural vitalization, BNU, an important base for cultivating high-quality and innovative talents, has launched a series of key projects to improve the quality of teacher education and training in China and enhance the high-quality development of the country's education.
The project to strengthen teaching force is one of BNU's vital initiatives. It is a comprehensive, closed-loop and systematic reform covering the entire process from the recruitment and education of teacher candidates to post-support for teachers and educational monitoring and diagnosis.
"Teacher education is the distinguishing advantage and foundation of BNU. We aim to build a high-quality, professional and innovative teacher team that meets the expectations of the Party and the people, nurture more outstanding teachers and contribute to the accelerated construction of an education powerhouse," said Cheng Jianping, Party secretary of BNU.
BNU included the project in its 14th Five-Year Plan and established a leadership group consisting of the university's Party secretary, president and heads of 15 core departments.
Over the past few years, BNU has promoted the high-quality development of basic education in underdeveloped areas in central and western China, making its own contribution to the construction of a strong education nation with Chinese characteristics.
In 2020, BNU launched the zhiyuan project and recruited undergraduate students from the last 52 poverty-stricken counties in the regions to become teachers in those areas. The first batch of 155 students was enrolled.
In 2021, the Ministry of Education and nine other ministries jointly issued the Excellent Teachers Targeted Training Program for Underdeveloped Areas in Central and Western China, namely "targeted teacher training plan".
In the targeted teacher training plan, normal universities directly under the Ministry of Education and local-level normal colleges adopt targeted measures to train approximately 10,000 teacher candidates each year for 832 counties that were lifted from poverty and primary and secondary schools in central and western inland border areas.
It aims to improve the quality of the teacher workforce in underdeveloped areas in central and western China at the source and cultivate a large number of outstanding teachers.
Building on the successful experience of the zhiyuan project, BNU has enhanced the "targeted teacher training plan "to supplement the teacher resources in county-level areas. Over the past four years, BNU has enrolled 1,966 teacher candidates under its zhiyuan project and "targeted teacher training plan", covering 20 provinces.
"The targeted teacher training plan addresses key issues such as the training, retention and development of outstanding teachers in underdeveloped areas in central and western China, and it has optimized the government-funded training system for teacher candidates in China," said Cheng Jianping.
BNU is exploring an innovative education model that combines general education, subject-specific education and teacher professional education.
The university aims to cultivate outstanding teachers for long-term development.
For example, there are four compulsory general education courses on teacher professional competence, including education, educational psychology, modern education technology and reform and development of Chinese education.
For teachers, knowledge alone is not enough; an excellent classroom teaching ability also needs to be developed through practical training.
BNU provides students with opportunities for education internships and practical experiences from freshman to senior year, allowing them to gradually understand the teaching profession, familiarize themselves with various basic education teaching environments and develop professional skills.
The university leverages the innovation and experimentation of teacher education in its Zhuhai campus, establishing a synergistic mechanism between faculties and academies.
It implements a "double mentor" system and established working studios with renowned primary and secondary school principals, exploring new models of "internet plus education".
BNU is also exploring a dual practice model in urban and rural areas, conducting educational observation and research in high-quality urban schools and social practices and investigating 832 counties that were lifted from poverty to enhance educational teaching abilities to gain a deeper understanding of rural education.
In 2020, BNU began the qihang project, awarding incentives to graduates who choose to teach in grassroots-level positions and establishing mentor groups to provide post-employment training to these graduates.
As of now, a total of 1,302 graduates have been selected for the qihang project. Among them, 347 graduates have signed contracts to teach in counties or lower-level areas and 152 graduates have signed contracts to teach in underdeveloped areas in central and western China, becoming a new force to accelerate local education vitalization.
As shown in the central graphics, except the "targeted teacher training plan" and the qihang project, BNU's "project to strengthen teaching force" comprises the "teacher capacity improvement plan", the "plan for monitoring and diagnosing basic education quality", the "plan for rewarding 'Teachers with Four Virtues'" and the "normal education coordination and quality improvement plan of the Education Ministry".
The six plans together support the "project to strengthen teaching force".