Amsterdam School of International Business

Cooperative Learning in Vietnam and the West–East educational transfer


Under pressure of the continuing need to modernize, Vietnam is rapidly reforming its education system. Cooperative Learning (CL) with a Western-based model is being enthusiastically applied. This paper suggests that an authentic form of CL has long existed in the foundations of Vietnamese education.

The reasons why Western-based CL is encouraged can be attributed to false universalism (the belief that a practice that originated from elsewhere can be “cloned” with similar results) and neo-colonialism (the perpetuation of a colonial mindset under the pressure of financial loans).

While an adjusted form of CL has been suggested by previous studies to make CL culturally appropriate, this paper argues that a true hybrid form of CL which takes into account the authentic CL will have more potential to make this method not only culturally but institutionally appropriate. The paper indicates a strong need to identify and incorporate indigenous practice in the process of educational reform.

Reference Nguyen-Phuong-Mai, M., Terlouw, C., & Pilot, A. (2012). Cooperative Learning in Vietnam and the West–East educational transfer. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 32(2), 137-152.

Publication date

Jun 2012


Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai
Cees Terlouw
Albert Pilot

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