Constructing Social Cohesion in Vietnamese Public Schools: The Methods, and Students’ Forgotten Identities

Author: Truc Thanh Truong
Institution: University of Northampton, UK
ORCID: 0000-0003-4187-9181
Author: James Underwood
Institution: University of Northampton
Year of publication: 2020
Source: Show
Pages: 25-42
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/130/kie13002.pdf

There are four main areas through which education can foster social cohesion, these are: curriculum design; an appropriate classroom climate of dialogue and respect; equal opportunities for all learners; and diverse school programmes that encompass the interests and experiences of the learning community. In this paper, by intersecting these concepts with the lead author’s experiences as a student in Vietnam’s primary and secondary public schools, we explore how social cohesion in constructed within the Vietnamese school system and the impact this has on student identity. Further focus is provided by analysing in-depth three fundamental aspects of the Vietnamese education system. These are: moral education; Vietnam’s national rite of saluting the flag; and didactic, teacher-focused teaching. The latter section of the essay then critically evaluates some shortcomings associated with the teaching of social cohesion in Vietnam. The purpose of this paper is to add meaning to those cultural features of schooling that have been taken for granted by Vietnamese people and also to highlight the need to find a balance between social cohesion and individuality in the Vietnamese educational system, so that in future current flaws can be erased. This paper is a conceptual paper informed by research literature. However, it also embraces an auto-ethnographic approach and in doing so extends the parameters of academic writing within a Vietnamese context.


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social cohesion Vietnamese education moral education Confucianism auto-ethnography state schools

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