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Teachers’ Dual Responsibilities for Academic Achievement and Character Development

  • Yuh-Yin WuEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 26)

Abstract

This chapter describes the dual responsibilities of teachers to facilitate student academic achievement and character development, and it discusses how teachers must both motivate students to achieve academically and enhance their communal spirit. First, a classroom vignette is presented as an example of the daily practices of teachers. Second, the importance of the “achievement ladder” in Chinese education is explained in relation to the traditional imperial Chinese civil service examination that was conducted to recruit political officers for approximately 1,300 years since the Sui Dynasty. Although the examination was abolished in 1905, the modern educational system mirrors the examination system from the elementary school to the doctoral level. The higher students rank on the achievement ladder, the brighter their career prospects are, and teachers serve as their examination coaches. Third, despite interpersonal and academic competition, teachers are mentors to students and facilitate cooperation among students within the classroom, creating a feeling of team spirit that prompts students to excel with their peers outside the classroom. Various activities are organized to develop camaraderie, such as “little teacher” system (peer tutoring system), sports, cleaning, and contests. Fourth, the “little teacher” system implemented throughout Taiwan and China exemplifies the dual responsibilities held by teachers. Students, including the “little teachers,” believe that instruction and learning are mutually accomplished. Thus, as examination coaches, teachers motivate students achieve academically; as life mentors, teachers cultivate a communal spirit within the class. Fifth, a case study of a senior high school in the most disadvantaged economic area of Taiwan is examined to illustrate how school teachers nurture student desire to succeed through skill as well as effort. In conclusion, enhancing academic performance and character development is the responsibility of teachers.

Keywords

Academic performance Capabilities and efforts Peer relationships Student-teacher relationships Teachers as mentors 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and CounselingNational Taipei University of EducationTaipeiTaiwan

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