The Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum is used in Vietnam’s kindergartens since 2009. It is important that future kindergarten teachers have the knowledge and skills to work with this curriculum. To achieve this, it is crucial that their lecturers have a deep understanding of the curriculum.
Therefore a two-day workshop was organised in Hanoi (August 8-9, 2014) for 23 lecturers from four teacher training institutes. It aimed at introducing the lecturers with a comprehensive and sound understanding of the ECE curriculum. Representatives of the provincial education bureaus (called DOETs – Departments of Education and Training) contributed to the workshop by bringing testimonials of their experiences with the implementation of the curriculum over the past five years.
Five key elements to take home from the workshop
- During the workshop, the lecturers were introduced to different aspects of the curriculum. A session on curriculum development focused on different approaches in the development of curriculums, on the advantages of each approach, and on the current trends in curriculum development. Through this session the lecturers understood the approach used by the developers of the 2009 ECE curriculum. The session was also useful to upgrade their skills in curriculum development.
- A comparison between the 2009 ECE curriculum and the curriculum used before, helped the lecturers to identify the many advantages of the 2009 curriculum. The most remarkable changes are:
- new opportunities for a child comprehensive development;
- more flexibility and responsibility for teachers in designing specific teaching content.
- A comparative reflection was held on the content of the ECE curriculum and on the Standards for the development of five-year old children of the Ministry of Education and Training. It helped the lecturers to understand how the curriculum should be implemented or revised to support the children. It is important for lecturers as well as for future kindergarten teachers to be aware of the current mismatch between the curriculum and the standards for development of five-year old children so that they can make relevant adjustments.
- A small session of the workshop was spent on updating the lecturers about the newest most important ECE policies, and on what they could do themselves to be informed regularly on the latest policies.
- While introducing and discussing the above topics, one issue was repeated again and again: how to introduce the ECE curriculum and the standards to student teachers via the regular subjects they are taught at the teacher training institutes. Therefore, as a follow-up activity, each institute will organise two similar workshops for their lecturers.
To support these young children in their transition from kindergarten to primary school, VVOB targets the capacity development of three key stakeholder groups in Vietnam: school leaders and teachers, parents, and teacher training institutes.