The Work and Lives of Teachers in China: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Work and Lives of Teachers in China

1st Edition

Edited by Qing Gu


202 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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By bringing together a distinguished group of scholars who have deep, extensive and complementary knowledge and expertise of the Chinese education system, The Work and Lives of Teachers in China engages in detailed discussions on contemporary issues about teachers and teaching in China. It locates teachers’ work and lives in a critical analysis of the political, socio-cultural, ideological and educational reform contexts, and through this, demonstrates how teachers in different professional life phases and in different schools are able to retain their vocational strength and commitment for learning and development.

Using rich illustrations from real teachers in real primary and secondary schools, this book represents a collection of scholarly writings which build research and practice informed new knowledge about the nature of teachers’ work and lives in China. Through these comprehensive case studies, the book illustrates to policy makers, head teachers and training and development organisations the importance of sustaining teachers’ commitment and wellbeing in their efforts to improve quality and standards in today’s Chinese schools. The Work and Lives of Teachers in China provides valuable insight for policy makers, educators, researchers, teachers and students in education and beyond.


As the largest provider of teacher education and training in the world which also sustains the world’s largest number of primary and secondary schools, China remains one of the countries with the lowest proportion of teachers with tertiary qualification for teaching primary and secondary education. With the world’s growing interest in China, The Work and Lives of Teachers in China would satisfy the curiosity of readers in general who have yet had an opportunity to read about teachers in China through the works of the well-established researchers as well as the novice ones. It would also provide insights for policy makers, educators, researchers, teachers and students in education and beyond. – Feng Yan, Associate Professor, School of Education, Shaoxing University, China

Table of Contents

Preface Christopher Day Introduction Part I: The Changing Landscape of Teaching in China 1. The Changing Conditions for the Work and Lives of Teachers in China: An Overview Xin Gao & Ruth Hayhoe 2. Ideological, Social and Cultural Forces Influencing Teacher Education and Development in China: A Critical Analysis Shibao Guo 3. Challenges with Rapid Growth Kai-ming Cheng Part II: Developing Teachers in Times of Change: Contexts Matter 4. The Impact of Policies on Teachers’ Professionalism and Work under Accountability and Managerialism in the Chinese Mainland Leslie Lo, Manhong Lai and Lijia Wang 5. The Work and Lives of Teachers on the Honorary Road to Success: A Critical Analysis Xudong Zhu and Huan Song 6. China’s Quest for World-Class Teachers: National Initiatives and Institutional Pathways Jun Li 7. Dilemmas of Teacher Professional Development in the Context of Curriculum Reform Hong-biao Yin 8. Curriculum Leadership in Shanghai: Teacher Development and Hierarchically Enacted Teamwork Haiyan Qian and Allan Walker Part III: What Keeps Teachers Going: Identity, Resilience and Commitment 9. Teachers’ Professional Identity and Emotions in the Context of Curriculum Reform: Chinese Perspectives John Chi-Kin LEE, Yvonne Xianhan Huang and Edmond Hau-Fai Law 10. Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices: A Dynamic and Complex Relationship Hongying Zheng 11. Sustaining Resilience and Commitment in Times of Change: Stories of Chinese Teachers Qing Gu and Qiong Li

About the Editor

Qing Gu is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Professional Development
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies