Before the announcement and implementation of the Teacher Education Act in 1994, the legislative references of the teacher education system for pre-service teachers in primary, junior high, and senior high schools were the Teacher Training School Act, the Teacher Training School Regulations, and the Teacher Training Education Act.
Diverse Teacher Cultivations The Teacher Education Act was announced and implemented in February 1994. Under this Act, the previous single-path and planned teacher training education was changed into various teacher cultivation reservation systems. The teacher cultivation by personal applications and payment replaced the form of teacher cultivation used by government subsidization and placement. The Teacher Education Act was revised in July 2002, and adjusted the study period, educational practices, and teacher certification system. The substantial qualification exams replaced the paper report examinations. The Teacher Qualification Approval Exam was first carried out in 2005. In response to the integration policy of preschools and nursery schools, Article 24 of the Teacher Education Act was revised in 2014. By providing educators in educare institutes with pre-service and in-service educational courses, the quantity and quality of teachers in preschools could be enhanced.
The Implementation of Learner-Centered Teacher Cultivation
The revision of the Teacher Education Act was announced on June 14, 2017, and it reformed the teacher qualification system into two stages. The teacher qualification approval exam is in the first stage, and educational practices are at the second stage. The order of these two stages has been promoted since February 1, 2018. Through this exam, sufficient qualified students could be selected, and thus could fulfill the teaching and homeroom teacher internship system. On June 29, 2018, the Ministry of Education regulated the Guidelines of Teachers’ Professional Literacy and the Curriculum Standards of Pre-Service Teacher Cultivation, in order to enable the teacher cultivation system to fulfill the goals of the learner-centered concept, to respect the diverse differences, to care about society, to cultivate a global perspective, and, finally, to enhance teachers’ quality.
The Adjustment of the Teacher Qualification Exam System
The three purposes of the Teacher Qualification Approval Exam are: increasing teachers’ professional literacy, strengthening teachers’ professional image and responding to the policy target of the ongoing refining of the Teacher Qualification Approval Exam. Since 2014, the Teacher Qualification Approval Exam has increased the portion of questions related to practical teaching conditions. In this way, the teachers’ required teaching professional knowledge and skills can be reviewed. The increase in the non-choice questions portion, the decrease in questions requiring memorization, and the increase in types of questions concerning analysis, application, creativity, and practical teaching conditions, have all assisted in strengthening both practical teaching professional knowledge and skills. In addition, the mathematics test was added as an exam subject for teachers in the group of primary school teachers, so as to upgrade efficiently and comprehensively teachers’ mathematics teaching professional knowledge and skills in primary schools. Furthermore, Article 10 of the Teacher Education Act regulates that the content of the Teacher Qualification Approval Exam should contain two parts: the teacher qualification exam, and educational practices. Participants should pass the teacher qualification exam first, and then they should later participate in the educational practices. In 2014, the Teacher Qualification Approval Exam was renamed the Teacher Qualification Exam.
The Implementation of Teacher Cultivation Evaluation
Since 2005, the Ministry of Education has regularly reviewed the operational performance of teacher cultivations in each teacher education university, and undertaken the teacher cultivation evaluation to encourage institutions which had a good performance, while ceasing the operation of teacher cultivation in institutions which had below-standard performance. The results of the teacher cultivation evaluation have been used for adjusting both the subsidization and the operation scale of teacher cultivation so as to strengthen the pre-service teacher educational course guidance measures for students, and to ensure the quality of teacher cultivation. The First Cycle of the Teacher Cultivation Evaluation was finalized during 2005-2008 (its second review was finalized during 2009-2010). The Second Cycle of the Teacher Cultivation Evaluation was carried out during 2012-2016 (its second review was finalized during 2017-2018) according to the results of: the First Cycle of the Teacher Cultivation Evaluation, the advice issued by the evaluation committee members, and the teaching requirements in primary, junior high and senior high schools. The University Department Evaluation System and the development trends of teacher cultivation evaluation in the international world were consulted as references. Several public hearings, forums, and advisory committees were held to gain more understanding of opinions from the people. The Third Cycle of the Teacher Cultivation Evaluation will be undertaken during 2018-2023 (its second review is estimated to be held during 2024-2025), and will have two features: simplified evaluation indicators, and the authorization to qualified teachers of teacher education programs to implement self-evaluation, in order to demonstrate and fulfill the function of course guidance.
The Establishment of the In-service Teacher Training System for Encouraging Teachers to Continue their Professional Development
Since 2003, the Ministry of Education has established the National In-service Teachers’ Training Information Website, in order to provide teachers in preschools, primary schools, and junior high schools with an in-service teachers’ training platform, an electronic record of workshop participations, and teacher training database services. This website is the sign-up platform for teacher training workshops and courses, offering all the functions of on-line registration. Up until now, approximately 222,000 teachers have accounts on this website. In 2018, personalized home pages for each teacher account were officially on-line, which further enhanced both the convenience of workshops and the course management for the operational departments, and ensured teachers’ rights to participate in the workshops and courses.
Since 2008, to respond to the operation and promotion of 12-Year Basic Education, the Ministry of Education has assisted National Taiwan Normal University, National Changhua University of Education, and National Kaohsiung Normal University in establishing colleges of continuing education. The MOE hopes to achieve the following goals: providing teachers in high schools with in-service training, enhancing teachers’ quality, cultivating teachers’ professional knowledge and skills, and setting the teaching standard models. In 2011, the Teacher Cultivation Alliance of Primary Schools was established, in combination with theories and practices, and has developed quality teaching model examples. In 2013, the Junior High and Senior High School Teachers’ Professional Competency Workshop for 12-Year Basic Education and the Advancement Program of Establishing the 12-Year Basic Education Learning Support System and Implementing the Adaptive Instructions for Teachers in Secondary Schools were promoted to increase teachers’ professionalism in regular classes of all educational levels and teaching outcomes. In 2015, the Teaching Advancement Project of Teacher Cooperation and Problem-Solving Competency was promoted, so as to contend with the international world, and to cultivate talented individuals of the 21st century with the key soft power. In addition, in 2016, the Teacher Adaptive Instruction Teaching Literacy and Support Platform was promoted, which aimed to enhance the professional literacy of adaptive instructions and digital technology teaching. This support platform assists teachers in having a good knowledge of students’ learning requirements, and thus they should be able to conduct appropriate and efficient teaching programs.
In 2017, in accordance with the implementation of the 12-Year Basic Education Curriculum Guidelines in the academic year 108, the teacher advancement courses for increased technology fields, the in-service teacher advanced courses, and the second-expertise courses for in-services teachers were carried out. The Teacher Training Platform Project of ‘Natural Science Research and Practice’ Course Development in 12-Year Basic Education has been promoted, which combines internet communities and educational resources and develops teachers’ profession development routes from beginner teachers to experienced teacher levels. The Teachers’ Professional Development Support System has been promoted from three aspects:
1. the integration of all teachers’ professional development projects and resources,
2. the cooperation between teacher education universities, city or county governments, and teachers in high schools,
3. the provision of teachers’ diverse autonomous professional development routes at different career stages.
The Promotion of the Teachers’ Professional Development Support System
To refine the in-service teacher training system in primary, junior high, and senior high schools, the Teachers’ Professional Development Support System has been promoted. In the academic year 106, the Ministry of Education transformed the Teachers’ Professional Development Evaluation Project into the Teachers’ Professional Development Fulfillment Program. On August 11, 2017, the Regulations of the MOE Providing Subsidies for Implementing the Teachers’ Professional Development Evaluation Project were revised and announced in order to provide all city or county governments with subsidization in using financial resources flexibly and autonomously to further organize the city- or county-centered teachers’ professional development projects. The purposes of this Teachers’ Professional Development Support System are as follows:
1. assisting city or county governments to establish a teachers’ professional development area network, and to set up a guidance system,
2. providing teachers in different career stages with diverse autonomous professional development routes, which support autonomous learning professional communities from initial teacher to experienced teacher levels,
3. encouraging city and county governments, primary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, teacher education universities, and private organizations to build teachers’ professional partner relationships, so as to deepen teachers’ professional developments in local places and in practical teaching affairs.
The Announcement of the Teachers’ Professional Standard Guidelines of the Republic of China
On February 15, 2016, the Teachers’ Professional Standard Guidelines of the Republic of China was announced, with the following planning directions: consulting the global standards, and organizing comprehensively in accordance with conditions in local places. These guidelines continue the 10 major teachers’ professional development standards and 29 teachers’ professional performance indicators published in the Teacher Cultivation White Paper of the Republic of China. Following the ideal image of teachers in our nation, published in the aforementioned White Paper, the 10 major teachers’ professional development standards are as follows: research on educational professions, teaching pedagogy, instructional design, teaching operation, learning evaluation, class management, student counseling and guidance, professional growth, professional responsibility, and collaborative leadership. Anticipation of these standards is expected to assist teachers to attain these goals:
1. to manifest teachers’ professionalism, and to shape teachers’ cultivation and the required abilities for teachers at all development stages,
2. to demonstrate the expectation of our nation for teachers’ professional knowledge, skills, and attitude,
3. to guide teacher cultivation and teachers’ professional development.