Centre for Economic Transformation| CET

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. https://doi.org/10.1080/02188791.2012.685233

Publication date

Jun 2012


Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai
Cees Terlouw
Albert Pilot

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