Early childhood education (ECE) is not given as much attention as primary and secondary education in rural areas in China, and rural preschool teachers lack opportunities to receive high quality and appropriate pre-service and in-service professional training.
This study focused on professional development (PD) opportunities available for preschool teachers in Heilongjiang, one of China’s largest provinces, wherein 44.3% of the population lives in rural areas.
This study (i) considered PD opportunities available for preschool teachers in rural areas; and
(ii) surveyed key stakeholders, including preschool teachers and principals, to understand their views on PD activities.
A total of 71 teachers and 3 principals from three preschools completed online surveys.
Results indicated that
(i) rural preschool teachers had relatively limited PD opportunities;
(ii) school-based activities that focused on curriculum implementation were the dominant form of PD; and
(iii) teachers felt that the PD they received was relevant, of good quality and effective, and that the individual mentoring they received had a positive impact on their pedagogical practices.
Implications of the findings are discussed.