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Who is teaching in Chinese primary schools? A profile of the primary education workforce in Chinese county areas

, Na Zhao, Yue Zhao,
Published: 19 January 2021
PLOS ONE , Volume 16; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0245549

Abstract: A teaching workforce with good quality is a key factor in the process of China’s rapid development. Although 76% of Chinese pupils are studying at schools within county areas, a general portray of the corresponding teaching workforce is still not clear. This study presents data from a nationally representative survey of primary education teachers in 35 counties of 18 provinces in China. Findings presented include demographic and professional characteristics, living conditions as well as attitudes towards work. Besides, variations among school locations and geographical regions are also examined. The key findings are the followings: 1) Quality of primary school teachers in county areas has been improved regarding education background; 2) Teaching force in village primary schools has an unbalanced age and gender composition; 3) Out-of-field teaching practice is widespread, especially for minor subjects. 4) Primary school teachers perceived relative low salary and low social status.
Keywords: education / teachers / schools / Psychological Stress / salaries / Social status / colleges / towns

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