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UNESCO to set up an education center for teachers in Shanghai
01.30.2018

    An education center for teachers under UNESCO will be set up in Shanghai to make contributions to the development of education globally, Zhang Minxuan, a leader of the preparatory team of the center, said recently.

    "The main functions of the center are to provide service, make criteria, do research and manage resources in the area of educating teachers," Zhang said. "It shows the education system for teachers in Shanghai has received acknowledgement from international education circle."

    UNESCO decided to set up the education center for teachers in Shanghai at its 39th plenary session in Paris in November. Once set up with the cooperation of Shanghai Normal University, it will be the first such institution under UN in Shanghai.

    Chinese students perform excellently in math in the Program for International Student Assessment, a worldwide study assessing 15-year-olds on key knowledge and skills, mainly in the areas of reading, math and science.

    According to PISA website statistics, students from Shanghai came first in 2012 in PISA, which has been held every three years since 2000. British youngsters were 25 places behind. In 2015, Chinese students also performed significantly better than their British counterparts.

    In 2016, the UK Department for Education announced that it would spend 41 million British pounds (US$53 million) on a four-year program to spread the Shanghai Teaching for Mastery Program in the country.

    Meanwhile, Shanghai middle school teachers are better educated and trained than their counterparts in other countries, according to a survey undertaken by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

    The Teaching And Learning International Survey (TALIS) was launched by the OECD in 2008 in 24 countries and regions to assess teachers' professional development, teaching practices and working environment.

    A second survey was conducted between 2013 and 2015 in 38 countries and regions, and Shanghai participated for the first time in January 2015.

    Among 3,925 polled teachers from 199 randomly selected middle schools in Shanghai, 98.5 percent have bachelor's or higher degrees, putting them first in the survey conducted between 2013 and 2015. The average in the 38 countries is 92.7 percent.

    About 98 percent have learned educational methodology and 96 percent have mastered the disciplines they are teaching, while the international averages are less than 94 and 90 percent respectively.

    More than 99 percent of Shanghai teachers said they had received induction training when entering local middle schools as new teachers, much higher than the international average of 80 percent.

    All of them said they had been guided by a mentor who taught the same courses, while only 70 percent of teachers polled in all areas had received guidance from experienced people.

    Teachers in Shanghai are also engaged more in professional discussions and observe the work of other teachers more frequently than their foreign counterparts.