Advertisement

PROSPECTS

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 429–443 | Cite as

Teacher professionalism under the recent reform of performance pay in Mainland China

  • Lijia WangEmail author
  • Manhong Lai
  • Leslie Nai-Kwai Lo
Open File

Abstract

In 2009, a reform in teachers’ pay, linking remuneration to performance, was implemented in China. The intention was to improve the quality of education by making teachers more diligent and creative and removing the inequality in pay between teachers in different schools. A review of this reform reveals that it has resolved the problem of inequality between teachers working in different schools but has created a new inequality: between teachers within the same schools. Also, the performance evaluation, based mostly on quantitative data such as student test scores, has led to teachers formalising their work and adopting an approach of “compliant professionalism”. Teachers’ workloads have increased, and only teachers who perform well on empirical performance indicators are given opportunities for professional development and remuneration. The findings suggest that a focus on teaching and on teachers’ autonomy is needed to achieve the goal of improving the quality of education.

Keywords

Teacher professionalism Performance pay Teacher accountability Teacher performance Employment incentives Education reform China 

References

  1. Apple, M. (1987). Teachers and texts. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  2. Ball, S. J. (2003). The teacher’s soul and the terrors of performativity. Journal of Education Policy, 18(2), 215–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Collins, J. (2002). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap and others don’t. New York: HarperBusiness.Google Scholar
  4. Cuttance, P. (1991). Monitoring educational quality through performance indicators for school practice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 3–7, Chicago.Google Scholar
  5. Day, C. (2002). School reform and transitions in teacher professionalism and identity. International Journal of Educational Research, 37(8), 677–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elliott, J. (2001). Characteristics of performative cultures: Their central paradoxes and limitations as resources for educational reform. In D. Gleeson & C. Husbands (Eds.), The performing school: Managing teaching and learning in a performance culture (pp. 192–209). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Fitz, J. (2003). The politics of accountability: A perspective from England and Wales. Peabody Journal of Education, 78(4), 230–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Furlong, J. (2001). Reforming teacher education, re-forming teachers: Accountability, professionalism and competence. In R. Philip & J. Furlong (Eds.), Educational reform and the state: Twenty-five years of politics, policy and practice (pp. 118–135). London: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  9. GOSC [General Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China] (2008). Forwarding the Notice of guidelines on the implementation of teacher performance pay in primary and secondary schools, enacted by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Education. Beijing: GOSC. http://fgk.chinalaw.gov.cn/article/fgxwj/200812/20081200105602.shtml.
  10. Gray, S. L., & Whitty, G. (2010). Social trajectories or disrupted identities? Cambridge Journal of Education, 40(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Green, J. (2011). Education, professionalism, and the quest for accountability: Hitting the target but missing the point. New York & London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Hargreaves, A., & Goodson, I. (1996). Teachers’ professional lives: Aspirations and actualities. In I. Goodson & A. Hargreaves (Eds.), Teachers’ professional lives (pp. 1–27). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  13. Helsby, G. (2000). Multiple truths and contested realities. In C. Day, A. Fernandez, T. E. Hauge, & J. Moller (Eds.), The life and work of teachers: International perspectives in changing times (pp. 93–108). London and New York: Falmer.Google Scholar
  14. Hoyle, E. (1974). Professionality, professionalism and control in teaching. London Educational Review, 3(2), 13–19.Google Scholar
  15. Jiang, X. P. (2011). Jianglixing jixiao gongzi zhengce shishi guochengzhong cunzai de wenti yu duice [Problems and countermeasures in the implementation of the incentive part of teachers’ performance pay policy]. Jiaoyu Lilun yu Shijian, 9, 24–26.Google Scholar
  16. Lai, M., & Lo, L. N. K. (2007). Teacher professionalism in educational reform: The experiences of Hong Kong and Shanghai. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 37(1), 53–68.Google Scholar
  17. McLaughlin, M. W. (1994). Strategic sites for teachers’ professional development. In P. P. Grimmett & J. Neufeld (Eds.), Teacher development and the struggle for authenticity (pp. 31–51). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  18. MoE [Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China] (2008). Guidelines on performance evaluation of teachers in primary and secondary schools. Beijing: MoE.Google Scholar
  19. Nikel, J., & Lowe, J. (2010). Talking of fabric: A multi-dimensional model of quality in education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 40(5), 589–605.Google Scholar
  20. Odhiambo, G. (2008). Elusive search for quality education: The case of quality assurance and teacher accountability. International Journal of Education Management, 22(5), 417–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ornstein, A. C. (1986). Teacher accountability: Trends and policies. Education and Urban Society, 18(2), 221–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Osborn, M. D., Abbot, D., Broadfoot, P., Croll, P., & Pollard, A. (1996). Teachers’ professional perspectives: Continuity and change. In R. Chawla-Duggan & C. J. Pole (Eds.), Reshaping education in the 1990s: Perspectives on primary schooling (pp. 137–153). London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  23. Osborn, M., McNess, E., Broadfoot, P., Pollard, A., & Triggs, P. (2000). What teachers do: Changing policy and practice in primary education. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  24. Ozga, J., & Lawn, M. (1988). Schoolwork: Interpreting the labour process of teaching. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 9(3), 323–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pearson, L. C. (2005). The relationship between teacher autonomy and stress, work satisfaction, empowerment, and professionalism. Educational Research Quarterly, 29(1), 38–54.Google Scholar
  26. People’s Education (2010). Jiaoyubu renshisi fuzeren jiedu yiwujiaoyu xuexiao jixiao gongzi zhengce ji dayi [Interpretation of teachers’ performance pay policy applied in primary and secondary schools by authority of the Personnel Division of the Ministry of Education]. Renmin Jiaoyu, (6), 13–17.Google Scholar
  27. Perryman, J. (2006). Panoptic performativity and school inspection regimes: Disciplinary mechanisms and life under special measures. Journal of Education Policy, 21(2), 147–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ranson, S. (2003). Public accountability in the age of neo-liberal governance. Journal of Education Policy, 18(5), 459–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Smyth, J. (2000). Teachers’ work in a globalizing economy. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  30. Storey, A. (2007). Cultural shifts in teaching: New workforce, new professionalism? The Curriculum Journal, 18(3), 253–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Troman, G. (1996). The rise of the new professionals? The restructuring of primary teachers’ work and professionalism. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 17(4), 473–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tschannen-Moran, M. (2009). Fostering teacher professionalism in schools: The role of leadership orientation and trust. Educational Administration Quarterly, 45(2), 217–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Webb, P. T. (2005). The anatomy of accountability. Journal of Education Policy, 20(2), 189–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Webb, R., Vulliamy, G., Hamalaninen, S., Sarja, A., Kimonen, E., & Nevalainen, R. (2004). A comparative analysis of primary teacher professionalism in England and Finland. Comparative Education, 40(1), 83–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Whitty, G. (2000). Teacher professionalism in new times. Journal of In-Service Education, 26(2), 281–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wilkins, C. (2011). Professionalism and the post-performative teacher: New teachers reflect on autonomy and accountability in the English school system. Professional Development in Education, 37(3), 389–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Woods, P. (1995). Creative teachers in primary schools. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© UNESCO IBE 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.The Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations