A child-centered approach encourages children to take learning into their own hands, as opposed to being directed or prompted by a teacher. Children take responsibility for making choices about what they will learn and explore. Teachers listen for cues and watch interests develop to create an appropriate curriculum for each individual. This method is also sometimes referred to as play-based.
HCMC education sector embraces the new program
Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Duyen, an experienced teacher at Tan Phu District, who was assigned to teach the new pilot program, acknowledged that students were having positive responses to the program which not only teach the lessons and but also better their memories thanks to the skills and links to life integrating in the lessons.
Sharing the point, other teachers praised the program as the program has 'softened' the knowledge, as well as its better settings and illustrations, while the core values are kept amongst different course books.
The changes are widely accepted by both teachers and students. For teachers, it is not hard for them to amend their teaching plan, yet it helps the students a lot in their adaption to primary schools, after the pre-school period which mainly focuses on pleasurable activities.
Regarding the right in course book selection, Vo Minh Thong who heads Kim Dong Primary School in Go Vap District believed that the school can manage the process well if they are eligible to select books for their students.
Specifically, the schools will set up a scientific council to listen to opinions of teachers, parents and students and then make the final decision. He also stated that it is not hard for HCMC to put in use the new course books as all schools have been using the books compiled by the Department of Education and Training.
However, Principal Thong noted that the publisher ought to provide enough copies for students right at the start of the new academic year so as not to affect their learning.
Talking about the benefits of having various course books, Nguyen Du high school principal Huynh Thanh Phu addressed that besides fighting against the monopoly of publishers, the authors and publishers will be aware of renewing their products to meet with the current situations and local needs within the standard syllabus.
Teaching methods should be more adaptive
Leader of Literature teaching group of Le Hong Phong high school teacher Trieu Thi Hue lauded the policy ‘one syllabus, various textbooks’ as it meets with world educational trend, granting both learners and teachers the rights to select their own teaching and learning methods.
However, Head Coordinator of the General Education Development Board Associate Professor Bui Manh Hung notified that the new program only attains effectiveness while the assessment framework is designed in accordance with the selected teaching materials.
Specifically, if the program orients towards ‘nurturing learners’ ability and characteristics, assessment should focus on the goal and much more educational activities should be organized, especially in social studies subjects.
All in all, granting the right of choosing materials to teachers is believed to build a win-win effect. While educators feel comfortable in their teachings, the administrators will have more time to manage the syllabus and assessment methods.
Vice Director of HCMC Department of Education and Training Nguyen Van Hieu affirmed that all the five books are appraised and approved by MoET. Thus, the contents are in accordance with the new general education program and the main aim of ‘nurturing learners’ ability and characteristics’ is preserved, despite a difference of choices in corpus.
Looking at the matter from different angle, book consultant Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong emphasized that teachers must change their teaching methods by organizing more hypothetic situations to help students to use their knowledge in dealing with real life problems.
Nevertheless, teachers should be trained how to teach the new course book and how to organize educational activities in classes with a child-centered approach.