Teacher learning in Vietnam

Nguyen, Huong T. M. (2015) Teacher learning in Vietnam. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

In order for Vietnam to seek better international integration into an increasingly globalised world, the Vietnamese government has launched educational reforms, requiring teachers to adopt ‘western’ constructivist pedagogies. This study focuses on pre-service teachers’ learning in Vietnam, where traditional attitudes towards teachers’ and learners’ roles promote passivity amongst students and unquestioning respect for the authority of teachers’ knowledge. The thesis describes a cycle of action research conducted in a major teacher training institution in Vietnam. Through an intervention based on constructivist theories, the researcher set out to investigate factors that enhance teacher learning, and barriers that hinder it, with the aim of contributing evidence to discussions about the most appropriate strategies to be employed to bring about a change for the better in teacher education. The research highlights the importance of Vietnamese teacher educators in promoting change in Vietnam.

The data collected comprised tutors’ and student teachers’ questionnaires, staff meeting discussions, student teachers’ journals and the researcher’s field notes. The findings reveal that student teachers were willing to accommodate and accept change and were often very enthusiastic about different patterns of teaching, which included peer evaluation and peer feedback. However, the student teachers' strongly held beliefs about relative roles of students and teachers remained firmly fixed. Other cultural factors also emerged from the findings.

The thesis argues that the most productive way of incorporating constructivist learning into Vietnamese teacher education is by gaining a better understanding of the current status quo in order to respect and honour deep seated cultural beliefs. It argues that the imposition of pedagogical change is counter-productive without better engagement of teacher educators and teachers in discussion and debate about the characteristics that Vietnam wishes to see in its teachers and education system in the future. In particular, the thesis argues that the focus for transforming teacher education should be on promoting the responsibility of tutors to create a ‘transfer space’ to introduce students to new ideas about the processes of teaching and learning, and to develop new qualities needed via this ‘transfer space’. Evidence from the study suggests that this strategy is likely to be supportive of student teachers’ development as it allows them to separate the processes of teaching from the culturally dominant beliefs about roles which are part of their established identities.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hall, C.J.
McIntyre, J.
Keywords: Teachers, training of, educational change, Vietnam
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education of teachers
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 28023
Depositing User: Nguyen, Thi
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 08:06
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 14:06
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28023

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