In June 1999, the Ministry of Education authorized CCRTVU to implement “CCRTVU Pilot Programme for the Reform of Ways of Learner Development and Open Education” in the form of a research project. Thus primary school education was included in the first pilot programmes. Enrollment in the programme at junior college and undergraduate programmes began in the spring of 2002 and 2003, respectively. Over the past ten years, the pilot programme has developed from the junior college level to undergraduate level. Positive advancements have been made in the basic framework of on-the-job teacher training and the corresponding teaching mode to achieve the relevant requirements of the pilot programme, to carry out in-depth research, thorough implementation, to promote smooth and sound development, and to cultivate skills highly valued by employers.

Primary School Management structure operates under the direction of the government. From the outset, the pilot programme has operated under the direction of, and cooperated closely with, the national teacher network federation and the Ministry of Education.

1. Brief Introduction to Primary School Education (junior college programme)

Primary School Education (junior college programme) is aimed at cultivating competent educators in primary school education and teaching to meet the needs of socialist construction ideologically, intellectually, and physically. Those seeking such training are mainly already-employed primary school teachers with secondary normal education and some education and teaching experience. The programme will help them to obtain a junior college degree in primary school education and to improve the quality of their teaching.

The course objective is to train the students to support the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and to love the socialist country and the peoples’ education cause; to work hard at Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Though, and Deng Xiaoping Theory, to set up the view of dialectical materialism and to learn to analyze and solve problems with it; to have fine ideological morality and teachers’ educational ethics.

The students are to grasp the basic theories, knowledge and skills of the programme; to have broad knowledge and high cultural literacy; to know the new achievements in modern human social sciences, science, and technology; to have the right education thought, to master modern education technology and information technology, and to understand the laws related to education and teaching; to have the ability to implement quality education with education theories and advanced education and teaching methods, to deliver primary education and teaching research and to realize self-development for the profession of primary teachers; and to have fine psychological qualities, sound health, and correct aesthetic standards.

2. Brief Introduction to Primary School Education (undergraduate programme)

Primary School Education (undergraduate programme) is mainly targeted towards currently employed primary school teachers with a junior college education, to provide further training in order to advance in their field as professionals with advanced practical skills, competent in primary school education and teaching due to this undergraduate education from a higher teacher college. Students will be helped to develop ideologically, intellectually, and physically, adaptable to the needs of primary school education reform and 21st century teaching, and will be able to deliver a quality education with a spirit of innovation. The specific requirements are: to adhere to the four cardinal principles, to love the cause of primary school education, to have the correct outlook on the world, life, and value, and to have integrity, good professional teaching ethics, and a realistic and practical spirit; to have broad and solid cultural and scientific knowledge; to master the basic knowledge, theories, and skills of the major; proficiency in teaching at least one subject, to be able to teach several other subjects at the same time; to meet a minimum standard for primary school research and management, as well as the ability for self-development and self-improvement; and to have a solid base in the arts, sound aesthetic standards, and the ability to fully implement and carry out all manner of teaching activities.

3. Programme Teaching Team

The undergraduate programme is presented in cooperation with Shanghai Normal University employing strong teaching staff of 9 full-time professors; CCRTVU School of Education has a staff of 14 full-time tutors and 10 part-time professors from other cooperative universities; 360 tutors from 41 provincial RTVUs work full time for the programme, including 102 with senior professional titles and 218 with associate senior professional titles; at the same time, about 500 part-time tutors are also employed from local universities and colleges.

The programme leaders are renowned Chinese education experts. They are: Professor Gu Mingyuan, Professor Gu Lingyuan, and Professor Hui Zhong. The experts invited to work as chief editors and lecturers in the core courses include: Gu Lingyuan, Guo Dejun, Hui Zhong, Wang Yichuan, Peng Jixiang, Yuan Jun, Zhang Shunyan, Qi Huyang, Wu Ligang, Yang Qingyu, Ma Yunpeng, Shen Chuanfu, Xie Liming, Shi Yingzhong, and Wei Shusheng.