UNESCO IITE participated in the Belt and Road Shanghai Study Project “Policy and Practice: Teacher Professional Development”

On 5–19 October 2019, UNESCO IITE took part in the Belt and Road Shanghai Autumn Study Project “Policy and Practice: Teacher Professional Development” held at Shanghai Normal University in Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China. The Study Project was initiated and carried out by the UNESCO Teacher Education Centre and the Research Institute for International and Comparative Education of Shanghai Normal University with the financial support of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

The event brought together 36 education administrators, teacher educators and researchers from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and USA.

The Study Project was aimed to showcase the insights and lessons from Shanghai education system, which is one of the highest-ranked in the world, as well as to support the exchange of educational ideas and experiences among participants from different countries around the world.

“One of the most impressive aspects of Shanghai’s education system is its process for development and management of teachers. Teaching is a well-respected profession, not so much because of the level of pay teachers receive, but rather because of the society’s respect for the profession, sustained through long-term, rigorous preservice education and pervasive school-based professional development. Both of these attributes are linked to a well-structured professional career ladder and performance evaluation system.”

World Bank Group

During the Study Project, the participants learned about the key policies in Shanghai education system aimed to attract and develop teaching personnel, finance education for quality and equity, balance school autonomy and accountability, create an effective assessment system, as well as explored how these policies and their implementation affect learning outcomes. The Study Project was particularly focused on demonstrating the coherent and comprehensive system of teacher professional development that incorporates multiple layers of in-service training, school-based teacher research groups, evaluation of teacher performance, and a structured career ladder that provides both motivation and a mechanism for teachers to progress in their careers.

The programme of the Study Project included a series of lectures, workshops, school visits and cultural activities grouped in two modules: “teacher stimulation and support” and “teachers’ professional life”. The lectures were delivered by professors of Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai Teacher Training Centre and UNESCO Asia-Pacific Education Bureau (Bangkok).

As part of the programme, the participants delivered their own presentations on the topics relevant to the Study Project. Ekaterina Pushkareva, Programme Assistant at UNESCO IITE, made a presentation about the key initiatives and activities carried out by UNESCO IITE, including those aimed to promote ICT for teacher professional development. Special attention was paid to the the third version of UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers published in the Russian language by UNESCO IITE. This document, developed by UNESCO in partnership with industry leaders and global subject experts, serves as the tool to guide pre- and in-service teacher training on the use of ICTs across the education system.