Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2021, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 1-11.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2021.05.001

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Jiaoyan: the Treasure in China’s Education

Kai-ming Cheng   

  1. Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Online:2021-05-20 Published:2021-05-24


The Chinese term jiaoyan literally means “study of teaching”, but this article argues that it is a notion that encompasses teachers’ professional characteristics. The article attempts to analyse the Chinese system of jiaoyan using a framework that is commonly understood in the west, in English speaking communities in particular. Systems of education are everywhere, but systemic institution for teaching is rather unique to China. It is where teachers realise their professional identity and fulfil their professional needs – professional knowledge, professional development, professional ethics, and so on. It is also virtually a Chinese version of the General Teaching Council where teachers assume their professional status. The inclusion of research in jiaoyan is also rather unusual, which is a drive for teachers’ continuous self-renewal. It is a treasure that should not be taken lightly, and should look forward to new levels of development.

Key words: professions, teachers’ professional ethics, teachers’ professional knowledge, teachers’ professional development, teachers’ professional organization, down-stream research?