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ADAPTING THE CURRICULUM FOR TEACHING HEALTH IN MULTIGRADE CLASSES IN VIETNAM

  • 31/03/2022
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Giới thiệu

MULTIGRADE SCHOOLS PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN HELPING COUNTRIES REACH THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS TO REDUCE POVERTY BY INCREASING ACCESS TO EDUCATION, ESPECIALLY FOR GIRLS. THESE SCHOOLS ARE OFTEN LOCATED IN REMOTE AND DISADVANTAGED AREAS OF THE WORLD WHERE TEACHERS LIVE AND WORK IN VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES WITH LITTLE SUPPORT FROM THE EDUCATION SYSTEM. THE MULTIGRADE TEACHERS’ WORKLOAD IS INCREASED BECAUSE THEY ARE TEACHING ACROSS MORE THAN ONE GRADE LEVEL IN ONE TIMETABLED PERIOD USING NATIONAL CURRICULUM MATERIALS THAT ARE GENERALLY DEVELOPED WITH THE NEEDS OF MONOGRADE1 CLASSES IN MIND. THE CURRICULUM CONTENT IS PRESENTED GRADE BY GRADE AND TEXTBOOKS ARE WRITTEN FOR TEACHERS TO LEAD WHOLE-CLASS LEARNING THROUGH DIRECT TEACHING. SUCH MONOGRADED PRESENTATION OF THE CURRICULUM GREATLY INCREASES THE WORKLOAD FOR TEACHERS, WHO HAVE TO SINGLE-HANDEDLY TAKE ON THE WORK OF ADAPTING THE CURRICULUM FOR USE IN THEIR MULTIGRADE CLASSROOMS. THIS CHAPTER ASKS WHETHER IT IS FAIR TO EXPECT MULTIGRADE TEACHERS TO TAKE ON THIS HEAVY BURDEN AND EXPLORES HOW CURRICULUM DEVELOPERS MIGHT WORK WITH TEACHERS TO HELP SHARE THE BURDEN. IT REPORTS ON A CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT EXERCISE UNDERTAKEN BETWEEN JUNE 2001 AND MAY 2002 BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES (NIES) IN HANOI, IN COLLABORATION WITH MULTIGRADE TEACHERS, IN RESPONSE TO CONCERNS THAT MULTIGRADE TEACHERS SPEND TOO MUCH TIME PREPARING LESSONS AND THAT THE QUALITY OF THE TEACHING-LEARNING INTERACTIONS IS FREQUENTLY POOR (APEID, 1995; AIKMAN AND PRIDMORE, 2001; HARGREAVES ET AL., 2001; SON, FORTHCOMING). IN THIS EXERCISE CURRICULUM DEVELOPERS REORGANISED THE PRIMARY CURRICULUM FOR HEALTH AND DEVELOPED LESSON PLANS FOR MULTIGRADE TEACHERS USING AN ENQUIRY-BASED APPROACH. THE REORGANISED CURRICULUM AND PILOTED LESSON PLANS WERE THEN INCLUDED IN A GUIDE TO TEACHING HEALTH FOR TEACHERS OF MULTIGRADE CLASSES (SON ET AL., 2002). THE AIM WAS THAT THIS GUIDE WOULD ACT AS A MODEL FOR ADAPTING THE CURRICULUM IN OTHER SUBJECTS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF MULTIGRADE TEACHERS. WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE STRONG SUPPORT GIVEN TO THIS INITIATIVE BY DR CHAU, DIRECTOR OF NIES, AND BY THE BRITISH COUNCIL IN HANOI. THIS CHAPTER FIRSTLY PROVIDES BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT TO MULTIGRADE SCHOOLING IN THE NORTHERN HIGHLANDS OF VIETNAM TO EXPLORE SOME OF THE BARRIERS TO DELIVERING GOOD QUALITY EDUCATION IN THESE SETTINGS. IT THEN DESCRIBES HOW THE CURRICULUM EXERCISE WAS CONDUCTED AND PRESENTS THE REORGANISED CURRICULUM FOR HEALTH AND EXAMPLES OF LESSON PLANS. FINALLY IT ADDRESSES THE WIDER PICTURE IN WHICH CURRICULUM REFORM IS ONLY ONE COMPONENT OF A PACKAGE OF INTERVENTIONS THAT NEED TO BE APPLIED SIMULTANEOUSLY TO ACHIEVE IMPROVED TEACHING AND LEARNING IN MULTIGRADE SETTINGS.

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