On 25 June 2019, the first learning workshop for outstanding young teacher candidates at the Open University of China (OUC) officially launched at Weishanzhuang Conference Centre, kicking off a three-year research and learning programme for training outstanding young teachers.

Ninety-nine candidates from the school-running organisation system of the OUC participated in research with the theme of “The Development and Growth of Teachers in Open and Distance Education.” Liu Ying, deputy director of the OUC Department of Student Affairs and Teacher Development, chaired the meeting.

Cao Guoyong, executive deputy secretary of the OUC Party Committee, attended the meeting and gave a speech. He emphasised that all young teachers participating in the training should earnestly study and implement Xi Jinping's socialist thought with Chinese characteristics in the new era, especially his important exposition on higher education and the construction of teaching teams; further strengthen the "Four Awareness,” namely political awareness, overall situation awareness, awareness of adhering to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and awareness of staying aligned with the theories, routes, and policies of the CPC and its Central Committee; consolidate the “Four Self-Confidences,” namely, confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture; realise the "Two Safeguards” of safeguarding the core position of General Secretary Xi Jinping in the Central Committee of the CPC and the whole Party and safeguarding the authority of the CPC Central Committee and its centralised and unified leadership; and strive to become teachers with positive ideals and beliefs, professional ethics, solid knowledge, and a loving heart. He pointed out that the training of outstanding young teachers in the school-running organisation system jointly held by the OUC headquarters and branches is an important measure for the Party Committee of the OUC to implement the spirit of the central government and the work deployment of the Ministry of Education, and strengthen the construction of teaching staff. We should persist in making the construction of teachers' morality and professional ethics the core, focusing on the construction of teachers' abilities, constantly improve the practical abilities of young teachers to teach and educate students and cultivate their morality, and adapt to the urgent need for the reform and development of the personnel training model in open universities. He hoped that young teachers will not forget their original intention and keep their missions in mind, always insisting on morality, lifelong learning, serving students, and contributing to society, and making new and better contributions to the reform and development of open universities with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

On the first day of the class, Zou Li, an outstanding teacher from the Wuhan branch who has been awarded the title of “Female Star with Great Merits or Business Achievements,” shared her experiences from the perspective of professional development in a speech entitled “The Growth and Transformation of a Distance Education Teacher.” Mr. Meng Ke from the public administration department of Tsinghua University, who holds a doctorate from Oxford University and won first prize in the 11th Young Teachers Basic Teaching Skills Competition, talked about "How Young Teachers can Improve Their Basic Teaching Skills.” The workshop will also invite experts from the Faculty of Economics and Management, the Information Technology Department (Engineering Centre) at the OUC headquarters, and other training companies to share content including "Research on Mixed Teaching Design and Application,” "Online Course Teaching Design,” "Data Literacy and the Improvement of Data Literacy among Open University Teachers,” and "Views on Thinking and Expressing through a Structural Perspective.”

During the study period, the trainees will sign an Outstanding Young Teacher Training Agreement with the OUC and formulate a three-year personal development plan under the guidance of the trainers. With a clear plan and objectives, the young teachers will achieve better common development along with the development of the organisational system of the OUC.

By Liu Ying,OUC