By Dieu Thi Tu Uyên
Tay Bac University, a focal training hub of human resources for Vietnam’s northern mountainous region has and makes the renewal of its curriculum a top priority to improve the quality of teaching and learning, satisfying the needs of learners and requirements of the labor market.
Being the Dean of the Faculty of Kindergarten and Primary Education, a question that has been always bothering me was how to not only make the faculty’s pre- and primary school teachers training programs interesting and attractive, innovative in content, and relevant to the practice, but also equip the graduates with skills that assist them to become excellent pre- and primary school teachers who embrace a mission to incubate future generations in ethnic minority populated areas.
…the success of my pilot project promoted a solid foundation to create a culture of innovation, creativity, and change without fear within the faculty.
Between November 2017 and May 2018, I had a great fortune to participate in the Course on ” Undergraduate Curriculum Development and Renewal “, which was delivered by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), funded by the Australian government through the Aus4Skills program in Vietnam.
This course equipped me with knowledge, skills, and tools to develop, renew and run a training program supported by modern techniques. I then applied these knowledge and methods to a pilot project, which aimed to renovate the “Improving skills to read comprehensively and tell eloquently a literary story” Module. I personally taught this Module. Specifically, I experimentally changed the learning content, applied new teaching, testing and assessment methods. I was lucky to receive support from colleagues and enthusiastic participation of my students in this process. Upon the completion of the Module, colleagues and students rendered positive comments and evaluations. One student reflected that:
“The teaching and learning content of the program is flexible, interesting and attractive; The assessment of learning outcomes is also fairer and more relevant to students’ learning ability. “
Those comments and reflections were so encouraging that made me more confident to work with the Faculty’s leadership and teachers to continue and expand renewal of curriculum to other courses. The ultimate aim of renewing curriculum of these courses was to develop professional attributes and improve capacity of students in response to the requirements in reforming pre-school and primary education in Vietnam at present, as well as the demand of enhancing human resource training for education development in the northern mountainous and ethnic minority populated region.
…change is not something impossible, as long as each person has the courage and determination. Positive changes will lead to positive results.
More importantly, the success of my pilot project promoted a solid foundation to create a culture of innovation, creativity, and change without fear within the faculty. This culture has contributed to elevating the credit and and maintaining the position of the faculty as one of the faculties that have had the highest ratio of graduates, graduates being employed, and enrollments in the last three years. For me, what I have learned from the course and reality is that, change is not something impossible, as long as each person has the courage and determination. Positive changes will lead to positive results.