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This paper focuses on different ways of conceiving and carrying out in-service teacher
preparation in Japan and China of which China is known as communist country and Japan is popularly
known as capitalist country. This paper facilitates to find out the differences in teacher training in Japan
and China. This paper intended to document model of in-service teacher training and technology in the
entire countries as well.

In-service training is accepted as an effective method of increasing the knowledge, skills and
positive beliefs of teachers. It is a process used to continue the teacher's education once they have
received their certification in teaching and are employed in a professional position (Locke, 1984) (cited in
Bayrakcu, 2009). The Education Information Network in the European Union (EURYDICE) defines in-
service training as a variety of activities and practices, in which teachers become involved in order to
broaden their knowledge, improve their skills and asses and develop their professional approach (Perron,

In-service training is the term used to describe a set of activities and requirements generally
falling under the heading of professional development. It is an organized effort to improve the
performance of all personnel already holding assigned positions in a school setting or to implement a
specified innovation or program (Sapp, 1996). It is a key factor in influencing the professional
development of teachers and contributing to the improvement of their knowledge through an active role
(Saiti & Saitis, 2006).

Teacher Training in Japan and China

Japan has a multidimensional, continuous and systematic in-service teacher

training program. Five levels of teacher training, as defined by the Ministry of
Education, are at the national level: the Prefectural Board of Education (local
administrative units); the Municipal Board of Education level; the school level; and
the level consisting of voluntary educational associations, groups, and the training
of individual teachers (Fujita, 2007).

In Japan, there are two kinds of teacher training courses such as basic course
and specialized course. Besides the basic training courses a Specialized Training
comprises various in-service training courses directed towards specific subjects or
subject areas in which teachers wish to become experts. These courses are planned
and organized by prefectural education centers for specific aims and teachers are

free to participate in these courses according to their interests and needs. These
training activities include: Specialized training for each subject; Training related to
education curriculum; training courses for student counseling, career guidance,
teaching skills, industrial education, etc.; and training programs for the acquisition
of licenses and qualifications (including training for librarians in schools)

Governance of education in China is highly centralized. Traditionally, the

provision of education- schooling- is seen as the function of the national
government. The central government of China controls and directs teacher
education through legislation and regulation, making basic policies, standards and
plans, setting up special funds and projects, etc. Under the central government's
direction, local governments have primary responsibility for running the teacher
education system (Gang & Meilu, n. d.).

In China in-service teacher training begins from the time of probationary

period. Once the teacher appoint to teaching position, the new staff have to
undergo probation of one year before she/she can be formally confirmed in their
status as teachers. All schools offer initial training courses for new staff to take their
probationary period, as well as instituting a mentoring system for them. The initial
training programmes are organized and coordinated by country (or, in the case of
municipalities, district) teacher training organizations, and they consist principally of
relatively practically-oriented courses such as educational psychology, youth
behavior and guidance issues, classroom management, pedagogical theory and
strategy (Xiaodong, 2008). Viewing that the teacher requires both more
comprehensive programmes of pre-service training, and greater support from
teacher education structures or organizations for in-service training and
professional development China provides opportunity of lifelong learning for
teacher. In 2002 China set a parameter for teacher education it states that teacher
education should be guided by the principle of lifelong learning theory, and should
be organized according to the stages of teacher's professional development,
namely pre-service training, initial on-the -job training, and in-service training
(Xiaodang, 2008).

At the beginning of the in-service teacher training in China was aimed to upgrade the
qualification of teacher to those whose qualification was below the national standards or whose teaching

was not up to the standards though their qualification met the requirements. After 1990s, qualification
upgrading kind of education gradually disappeared and in-service education became continuing education
for teachers' professional development. Now the continuing education is to raise teacher's competence to
practice quality education. The major content of the continuing education included political education and
teacher's ethics, refreshing and extension of professional knowledge, theory and practice of modern
education, research in educational science, training of educational and teaching skills and modern
educational technology, and modern technology and social sciences.

Mechanistic versus Organic Structure: Chinese teacher training mechanism is mechanistic

(Jones, 2003) in structure where decision making authority is centralized, training institutions are closely
supervised, and information flows mainly in a vertical direction down a clearly defined hierarchy where
as Japanese teacher training mechanism is organic (ibid) where there is flexibility, so the training
institutions initiate change and can adapt quickly to changing conditions.

Japan has a multidimensional, continuous and systematic in-service teacher training program.
Five levels of teacher training, as defined by the Ministry of Education, are at the national level; the
prefectural Board of Education level (local administrative units); the Municipal Board of Education level;
the school level; and the level consisting of voluntary educational associations, groups, and the training
of individual teachers (Fujita, 2007 cited in http://www.unescobkk.org). At the level of prefectures and
large cities, induction training has been provided for newly appointed teachers; teachers with five, 10, 20
and 25 years of experience, and training for curriculum coordinators, student guidance coordinators, vice
principals and principals. The long-term (one or two year) training programs have been conducted in
universities, research centers or private companies (Fujita, 2007 cited in http://www.unescobkk.org).

In Japan, in-service teacher trainings are conduct at the national, prefectural, municipal and
school level (Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and culture [MESSC], 1999 cited in Bayrakci, 2009).
At the national level, the MESSC holds central workshops for the in-service training
of principals and vice-principals and for coordinating and advising teachers who
play a leading role at the prefectural level on subject matters. There is a system of
in-service training at the prefectural level. Prefectural boards of education are
responsible for planning and carrying out in-service training courses for teachers
and other educational staff. There are many prefectural education centers
throughout Japan. These centers provide lodging facilities and organize classes and
equipment for in-service training and professional staff. Prefectural boards of
education also send teachers to universities, research institutions, private firms and

other institutions for long-term training in order to improve their professional

competence and their social character. In addition, various lecture and workshops
are delivered by municipalities and other educational organizations.

Similarly in China teacher training programs are controlled by central government i. e. Ministry
of Education. The mainstay teacher education institutions in China, such as middle normal schools, higher
normal schools, and junior secondary schools and senior secondary schools respectively. Institutes of
education and teacher training schools are the institutes for the professional development of in-service

Mentor-apprentice mode in teacher training: China and Japan both countries apply mentor -
apprentice mode in teacher training. In China an experienced teacher is appoint by the school or chosen
by the new teacher to be his/her mentor one year period. During this year, the new teacher would observe
the mentor's lessons, make reflections in comparison with his/her own teaching and exchange ideas with
the mentor. In the meanwhile, the new teacher would also teacher open lessons and other teacher would
observe his/her teaching and analyze and evaluate the teaching to help the new teacher for his/her
professional growth (Nohora, 1997). Mentors are known as guidance teachers in Japan. When
teachers need advice about children's problems, relationship with them or any other
subject, they can receive educational consultation in different forms. Telephone
consultations are available every day from a toll-free number. For visitor
consultation, teachers need to make reservation and visit the institute on Monday
and Friday, except holidays. E-mail support is also provided. Teachers supports'
voluntary research for daily education in practice and problem solving, offering
facilities, library, educational references and staff during the summer and winter
vacations. Research consultation is available when teachers need advice about
reference collection, document research or research promotion. In the both
countries , I concluded that new teachers are viewed as professionals- albeit ones
who are at a different points on a continuum of development from experienced
teachers- whose contributions contributions grow over time, given appropriate
support. The difference in skill levels between new and experienced teachers are
acknowledged and built in to school programmes. In Japan, new teachers are
provided with at least two periods per week to be observed or to observe other
teachers ' classes and at least three periods for consultations with guidance
teachers. And new teacher must be provided with no less than 60 days per year of
in-school training (including observation and advice), under the leadership of the

guidance teacher, and at least 30 days of out-of school training per year (Nohara,

The mentoring approach in teacher training is seems guided by social

learning theory (Tarde 1843-1904) where new teacher learn new behavior through
over observational learning. New teacher learn through observing experienced
teacher's behaviours. Social learning theory states that if people observe positive,
desired outcomes in the observed behavior, they are more likely to model, imitate,
and adopt the behavior themselves. It also suggests that the environment can have
an effect on the way people behave (http://en.wikipedia.org). In the teacher-mentor
relationship, the mentor creates the environment (surroundings) that causes the
teacher to behave in the way that mentor performs or as he suggests, as Albert
Bandura (1977) proposed in his behavioural theory. Social learning theory suggests
a combination of environments (social) and psychological factors influence
behavior. Social learning theory outlines three requirements for people to learn and
model behavior include attention: retention (remembering what one observed),
reproduction (ability to reproduce the behavior), and motivation (good reason) to
want to adopt the behavior (Bandura, 1977). Behavioral management theory
provides knowledge about human needs and motivations that can lead not only to
increased productivity but also to enhancement of the working environment.

Diversified Curriculum model for teacher education: Japanese teacher are suffering different
kinds of problems related to students. School violence, truancy, bullying (Ijime), disorder in the
classroom, non-school attendance and so on serious problems are facing by Japanese teachers. Therefore
Japanese teachers are needed the content such as counseling and career guidance to tackle the problems
that exists in the classroom (Iwata, 2006). All these problems are responsible for creating a new method
of teaching and child-understanding. Also demand for a new pedagogy (Sato & Tanaka, n. d).

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is now
planning to enforce the inspection for the approved course for teacher's license in universities, and the
establishment of professional professional graduate school for school leader besides the present graduate
schools for teachers with advanced license is now under planning. In addition there have been new
movements that some large municipalities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto have come to provide the
teacher education programs by their own operation. For example, Tokyo Metropolitan Government has
started the program named Tokyo Cram School for Teacher Training (Tokyo Kyoushi Yousei Juku) on

2004. The program aims to recruit excellent young teachers for public primary schools in Tokyo
Metropolitan area. The program contains special teaching practice, seminars, experience of social
services, vocational internship, etc over the span of one year. Whole the program is organized by Tokyo
Metropolitan Board of Education, so the program has a meaning of an alternative to undergraduate
education by universities. Thus the identities of universities for teacher education face to the crisis (Iwata,
2006). Different cities face different problems. In this scenario Japanese teacher education needs a
diversified curriculum model to address the existing problem faced by the Japanese education.

Systematic Training Activities: Both the China and Japan has systematic training activities.
Japanese teacher training programmes seems more systematic than that of China because Japan has
decided the training programs, years of experience of teacher and the participants (table 1).

In Japan, teachers' basic training is planned according to their years of

experience and all educational staff has to participate in these in-service courses.
Table below presents the in-service training courses which are conducted through
basic training and the participants of these courses (Bayrakci, 2009).

Table 1: Teachers' Basic Training

Years of
Name of Training Participants
Teachers of Elementary, Junior high/High school,
1 years Beginning teachers' training Special Class and Kindergarten.
Health-Care Teachers, Nutritionist Staff
Experienced teachers' training/ Teachers of Elementary, Junior High/High School,
5 years Mid-career teachers' training Special Class and Kindergarten.
Health-Care Teachers, Nutritionist Staff
Experienced teachers' training/ Teachers of Elementary, Junior High/ High School,
10 years Mid-career teachers' training Special Class and Kindergarten.
Health-Care Teachers
Experienced teachers' training/ Teachers of Elementary, Junior high/high school,
15 years Mid-career teachers' training Special Class and Kindergarten.
Nutritionist Staff
School Administration Training Heads of the Instruction Department
20 years Mid-career teachers' training
Nutritionist Staff
Promoted Vice Principals'
Promoted Vice Principals
25 years New Principals' Training New Principals
Source: Ministry of Education, Japan, 2005

In China in-service teacher training begins from the time of probationary period. Continuing
education in China runs at a five-year cycle, during which every teacher must finish 240 hours' study.
Department at provincial level was in charge of the inspection of the teaching materials. Generally,
continuing education for teachers is conducted in the forms of collective study, school-based study and
web-based study. With regard to the imbalanced development in different regions and the differences in
their needs, some special measures have been taken for teacher education (http;//www.intlalliance.org).

At the moment, every level of the government in China provides teacher development programs
aimed at different levels and involving different pathways. These are generally fall into four categories.
Firstly, under the leadership of the educational administration at national and local level, institutes of
advanced study for teachers and teacher education institutes organize one-week training programmes
every five years, and periodically the Ministry of Education also initiates nationwide teacher training
plans and training activities with particular aims and objectives. Secondly, there are developmental
activities offered the research units of all primary schools, and organized by researchers into the teaching
of all primary school subjects based in the research sections of the education administration at all levels of
government. Thirdly, there are school-based researches and improvement activities organized primarily
by schools themselves, involving lesson-preparation, subject-specific work, educational research and
other kinds of programmes, and teacher development activities run in collaboration with higher-level
education research sections. And fourthly, through a national teacher education network, all sorts of
teacher education resources are being made available on the internet, and a web-based teacher
development platform is being developed, seeking to make effective use of the latest vehicle for distance
education (Xiaodong, 2008).

Distinctive Feature of Chinese and Japanese Education: Chinese and Japanese both the countries
education are influenced by religious thought. Hearn argues that by the end of Meiji era the whole of
Japanese education is still conducted upon a traditional plan almost the exact opposite of the Western plan
(cited in Dayem & Ibrehim 2007). Hearn was reflecting on the fact that despite its Western trappings, the
Japanese educational system continued to function in ways that were more in keeping with the tenets of
Confucianism and traditional Japanese culture than with those underlying western pedagogical thought.
Therefore teaching profession in Japan is at the top ranks and teachers in Japan enjoy high social,
economic, and cultural status. Khan (2005) sees that teachers in Japan are highly respected because the
missions they perform are similar to those accomplished by leaders of Confucianism and Buddhism (cited
in Howe, 2005). Chinese education beyond the culture of Confucianism, therefore the educational
traditions is deep rooted on the culture of Confucian. Cultivate the self, order (?) the family, govern the
state and pacify all under heaven are the core principles of the spiritual universe of the Chinese literati,

and the key task of education is thus defined as the cultivation of the self. Therefore, the teacher is thus
the guide in this process of self-cultivation, and this meant that the teacher's role is seen as that of a moral
exemplar rather than as a technical specialist performing a particular job or profession (Xiaodong, 2008).

Specialized Courses: Japan has managed specialized training courses for teacher
where as such kind of specialized training courses are not in practices in China.
There is a mobile, practical and compact course, as training activity, which is known
as Mini Doken. These courses are generally about the needs of schools, local
characteristics and issues useful in daily practice. These two or three days, subject
specific, mini courses can be organized according to the needs of teachers and
schools, and they can be given at the education centers and at schools. Schools and
teachers in the countryside which are far from the cities can also take these
compact courses via satellite communication and video-conference. Similarly, the
local research centers and educational centers provide special lecture to handle the
bullying and truancy issues in the training courses for student guidance and
educational consultation. For special lecture specialist from education related
organizations have been invited to lecture on not only bullying and truancy but also
child abuse and drug abuse (HERI, 2005).

By making provision of Mini Donken, Japan has been applying the contingency, or situational
approach (…) to manage the teacher training problems. As Henry Ford (---) assumes that consumer
demand becomes more diversified, the Japanese teaching forces are facing various problems in Japanese
society bullying and truancy are some typical examples. Fixed and single solution would not fit to the
various problems. Similarly the teachers from different socio-economic background, geographical area do
not have sameness in their problems and demands. To solve such kind of diversification contingency or
situational approach would be fit.

Use of Information Technology in Teacher Training: Japan is rich in Satellite

communication and Internet access in teacher training program which is designed
and executed by the Information Processing Education Center of Education
Research Institute. All schools are connected to Hokkaido School Net with optical
fiber. The School Net is frequently used for in-service training activities. Hokkaido
School Net function as e-mailing activities among teachers about educational
contents, multimedia teaching materials, educational information and text sharing
function. It also communicates with teacher. The trainee teacher can use chat

function and e-conference function during the training period. The trainee teacher
can use Video facilities for inter school communication and Video conference
facilities. The Educational Software Library Center, which is a sub-division of the
Information processing Education Center, is another important facility for teachers'
individual use. The purpose of the Center is to collect and display educational
software so that teachers can search, try and choose the software necessary for
teaching effectively. The library contains basic software, educational software and
education planning software (HERI, 2005).

Using the Web-based communication systems and Satellite system for in-
service teacher training activities provide good examples for China. China has an
extensive system of TV-based distance education, which also has been used to
provide in-service training for teachers (Capper, 2000). There are two sites that are
providing teacher training through TV programs. China's TV University system is
now being challenged by the advent of the Internet. In 2000, Ministry of Education
has approved 20 higher-learning institutions to develop and deliver online courses.
It is expected that over time this trend will reduce the demand for TV educational
programming, especially when broadband access becomes more available, and
permits reasonable or- even high-quality video to be instantly accessible over the
Internet (Capper, 2000).

China and Japan both the country's teacher training programmes seem based on to supply
sustainable human resources (Wolfenden, 2008). This would be a planned approach to managing teacher
effectively for performance, that teacher would be motivated, developed and managed in a way that they
can and give their best to support education's missions. The sustainable supply of highly trained teachers
is critical to the human resource development of China and Japan. The ICT based and mentor-
apprenticeship trained teacher is responsible for preparing the next generation as professional and skilled
personnel for the country. Combining innovative educational models such as Mini Docken and
specialized lecture in Japan and Internet using, use of modern technology in education, in China would be
able to meet the demand for teacher with effective pedagogical competencies and in their right number in
sustainable way. In China where there is scarcity of qualified and trained teacher in the rural and remote
area, the teacher training combining ICT and TV would be beneficial. Similarly, all these factors play a
contributing role in the achievement of high score and best performance of children.


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