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Sleeping giant: Chinese teacher education system. Past, present and future (II)

Hongzhuan Song (President of the International Council for Education Development (USA), Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 18 May 2010




The purpose of this paper is to explore how well Chinese teacher education positions itself in preparing qualified teachers for its vast K‐12 education system, especially in the transition from examination‐oriented to future‐oriented examination.


The paper looks at literatures discussing background, strengths and weaknesses of current Chinese teacher‐training programs. It also employs a Delphi‐based scenario research method to explore plausible futures of curriculum design for teacher education.


In order to ensure its astonishing economic development and present itself as a constructive force for world betterment, it is crucial for China to carry on its ongoing educational reform, especially in the area of curriculum for its teacher‐training programs.

Practical implications

The disciplinary curriculum currently employed in Chinese teacher education should be shifted to a trans‐disciplinary curriculum to produce future‐oriented, internationally‐prepared, and ICT‐savvy graduates with the high moral standards the country demands in its effort to play an important role on the international stage.


The research, while meriting the structured instruction displayed by the Chinese education system, argues that the system should strive to provide students with such skills as creativity, flexibility, initiative, leadership, all necessary in the globally connected future world. The second part of the paper will focus on four scenarios as a result of recent research among Chinese educators and administrators.



Song, H. (2010), "Sleeping giant: Chinese teacher education system. Past, present and future (II)", On the Horizon, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 110-123.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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