Promoting a Balanced Development of High Quality Teacher Resources with Network Technology: A Theoretical and Empirical Study

Promoting a Balanced Development of High Quality Teacher Resources with Network Technology: A Theoretical and Empirical Study

Caiping Xiong (Central China Normal University, China), Xuejun Wang (Central China Normal University, China), Xiangyang He (Central China Normal University, China) and Wenzheng Yang (Central China Normal University, China)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4538-7.ch016
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Abstract

In China, the availability of high quality teacher resources varies from region to region and differs even among different schools in the same region. Two approaches were taken to solve this resource problem (i.e., traditional educational support and traditional instructional research). The former approach was attempted to relieve the shortages of high quality teacher resources in resources-poor schools by sending excellent teachers to assist in instruction and school management. The latter approach was intended to improve teachers’ teaching skills within resources-poor schools by conducting instructional research on the spot. However, both had little effect. What can be done to increase the availability of high quality teacher resources? What is the most effective way to improve the teachers’ teaching skills? How does one find new ways to solve the problem of imbalanced allocation of high quality teacher resources? These questions have puzzled the educational professional for a long time. This chapter introduces two innovated approaches to develop high quality teacher resources by using network technology. Network-based educational research approaches allow the teachers in resource-rich schools to teach the students of resource-poor schools through network video conference systems without leaving his or her own school. The network-based instructional research approach enables the teachers of both resource-rich and resource-poor schools to build alliances according to disciplines and to collaborate on instruction by network videoconference systems.
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Background

Teachers are the key to the great cause of education. Teacher resources are one of the most important of all educational resources. Because of the inequality of economic development between the east and the west as well as the urban and the rural, the dual system of financial investment policy, and urbanized orientation in basic education, there are serious problem as a result of imbalanced allocation of high quality teacher resources among regions and schools. This has been viewed as a thorny issue in China’s basic education for a long time.

Conventionally, two practices are adopted to narrow the gap between developed and underdeveloped regions, urban and rural areas. First, excellent teachers are sent to the underdeveloped regions or rural areas. The Chinese Ministry of Education encourages talented undergraduates to be volunteer teachers in the resource-poor region and existing excellent in-service teachers to switch to resources-poor schools for half, one or two years (Wu, 2008). By doing so, the schools in underdeveloped regions or rural areas will be benefited from these excellent teacher resources from developed regions. The shortage of high quality teacher resources of resources-poor schools is thus partially relieved. Secondly, teaching skills of resources-poor schools’ teachers are enhanced by conducting instructional research among resources-poor and resource-rich schools’ teachers. Hence, the gap in teacher resource quality between developed and underdeveloped regions, urban and rural areas is expected to narrow.

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