US Could Emulate Shanghai In Teacher Development


The Washington Post (6/13, Strauss, Evans) reports in its “Answer Sheet” blog an article by Rachel Evans, who tells readers how Shanghai’s teacher development programs have put their students at the top spot of the Program for International Student Assessment two straight times. Evans tells us that what impresses her is Shanghai’s “laser focus on teacher development and professional training.” Teachers in the country work almost 40 years compared to US teachers who don’t often stay more than five. Teachers in Shanghai teach 10 to 18 hours of a 40 hour week and spend the remainder of their time collaborating and improving their practices, whereas US teachers work 25 to 32 hours per week. Evans argues the extra time allows teachers to improve. Evans also argues that Shanghai has found a way to “professionalize teaching” in a way that helps attract and retain teachers, all the while allowing the teacher to improve their craft.