Teacher educators supporting inclusive education in Vietnam
What were the main aims of the initiative?
Having made a policy commitment to inclusive education, the Ministry of Education and Training in Viet Nam worked with Catholic Relief Services to develop a national curriculum so that all student teachers in universities and colleges would receive a quality training that prepared them for teaching in inclusive settings. However, a lack of suitably experienced teacher educators held back progress. Further work was therefore developed to improve the attitudes, knowledge and practical skills of teacher educators, so that they could deliver the training curriculum using appropriate pedagogy. Forty-seven teacher educators, from eight cities/provinces, received 40 hours of training. This introduced them to the curriculum they would need to follow, but importantly gave them opportunities for personal reflection, for debates and to practice the pedagogical skills needed for teaching an inclusive curriculum. These teacher educators went on to become resource experts to support colleagues in their own and other teacher education institutions. (Forlin et al, (n. d))
The aim of this national project was to implement a train-the-trainer program to prepare teacher educators from national and provincial universities and colleges across Vietnam for teaching about inclusion. The training course in inclusive education had two major objectives:
Location, setting, Scope, key events etc.
The Government of Vietnam has shown its commitment to a more inclusive education approach by clearly indicating its desire to provide educational opportunities for children with disabilities in its Education Law (National Assembly, 2005) and particularly in the development and approval of the Education For All National Action Plan 2003–2015.
To expand inclusive education into all preschool, primary and secondary schools in Vietnam where an estimated 944,410 teachers require upskilling (Statistical Source Office, 2008), appropriate teacher education is required.
In 2008, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and an external consultant, developed a national core curriculum and pedagogical framework on inclusive education for ensuring that all teachers in training at all universities and teacher colleges received quality and equitable training. There was, however, a difficulty in implementing this due to the relatively few faculty members who themselves had sufficient knowledge to teach the program. Thus measures had to be taken to provide appropriate training for the teacher educators in the universities and colleges, considered key institutions for delivering and disseminating inclusive education approaches throughout the country.
What issues/challenges does the example address?
The challenge for Vietnam was how to prepare teacher educators to implement a national curriculum on inclusive education as they did not have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be able to teach the proposed core curriculum in a timely and effective way.
How was the Initiative implemented?
A total of 47 teacher educators from eight cities and provinces together with representatives from the MOET and CRS participated in a five-day intensive 40-hour training course held in Hanoi. All aspects of the new core curriculum framework were discussed and multiple opportunities were provided to learn, identify and practice the pedagogical skills needed for teaching an inclusive curriculum.
Key partnerships include:
What where the key Outcomes? What impact/added value did they prove? What were the biggest challenges?
The participants gained the knowledge and appropriate dispositions towards inclusion and had sufficient practice to be able to feel more confident in becoming inclusive teacher educators.
On completion of the course the teacher educators identified four specific areas they had learned that they would apply in their teaching, namely, theory and knowledge; instructions and skills; inclusive education practices; and a much greater awareness about inclusion.
These trained educators will be the resource experts for delivering inclusive education in their ITE programs and for disseminating information to other training institutions nationwide.
The course allowed them to deeply reflect about their own beliefs and engage in constructive dialogue as they grappled with an understanding of the philosophy of inclusive education; the needs of children from diverse backgrounds; the challenges faced by teachers; and their own role in furthering inclusion.
Has the initiative been evaluated or are there plans for this in the future?
No information available
Have any plans been made for future direction of the initiative?
Whilst the teacher educators had a better understanding of the concept of inclusion and a willingness to provide opportunities for their students to reflect upon and improve their attitudes using some specific strategies, they were still concerned that they needed a lot more information about inclusion and best practices for supporting children with disabilities.
A two-level action plan, therefore, was proposed to further inclusive education in Vietnam. This involved changes at the college and university level and changes at a systemic level.
Further training programs were planned to ensure all teacher educators were trained to teach about inclusive education.
Are there further information about supporting materials?
Forlin, C., & Dinh, N. T. (2010) A national strategy for supporting teacher educators to prepare teachers for inclusion. In C. Forlin (ed.), Teacher Education for Inclusion: Changing Paradigms and Innovative Approaches. Abingdon: Routledge
Forlin, C. (2008) Education reform for inclusion in Asia: What about teacher education? In C. Forlin & M-G. J. Lian (eds.) Reform, Inclusion & Teacher Education: Towards a New Era of Special Education in the Asia-Pacific Region (pp. 74-82). Abingdon: Routledge
Reference Link: www.inclusive-education-in-action.org/020EN