In a previous study with school physics teachers in China (Gao & Watkins, 2001), five first order conceptions of teaching and two higher order orientations to teaching were identified. This paper reports an investigation of the relationships between the physics teachers' conceptions of teaching based on this model and changes in their students' approaches to learning and their learning outcomes. Eighteen teachers and 1451 students from 29 classes and 15 Chinese secondary schools were involved, Multivariate analysis indicated that teachers' conceptions of teaching were related weakly but were statistically significant to student learning approaches and learning outcomes. The Knowledge Delivery conception of teaching encouraged students to change to a more surface learning approach. The Attitude Promotion conception and the Cultivating orientation encouraged positive changes in the achieving approach to learning. The Knowledge Delivery conception and Moulding orientation related negatively to students' achievement, while teachers' Cultivating orientation related positively with students' achievement in physics knowledge and understanding.