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University teachers' perceptions of their roles in curriculum decision making: A case study at Hanoi National University of Education (Vietnam)

This study is concerned with university teachers' perceptions of their roles in curriculum decision making in the setting of Hanoi National University of Education (Vietnam). This is one of the largest teacher training universities in Vietnam. Since research on teachers' curriculum decision making at tertiary institutions has been carried out internationally, it is suggested that these issues should be examined with due consideration within the Vietnamese higher education context. Information for the research was gathered using a qualitative approach. Individual, face-to-face interviews were conducted with eight teachers at Hanoi National University of Education. These teachers taught different disciplinary subjects and some of them held positions as Deans of Faculties and Heads of Departments at the university. The teachers were interviewed in Vietnam through May to June 2009. The interview responses were then analyzed and interpreted using my own approach adapted from literature on qualitative research methods. From my research findings, it was evident that ways Hanoi National University of Education teachers conceptualized curriculum and curriculum decision making were influenced by the top-down, centralized model of management dominating over Vietnamese education in the last 3 decades (1980s-present). Curriculum was frequently defined by looking at its legality and authority. Meanwhile, curriculum decision making was seen as a function of authoritative agencies rather than the activities of university teachers themselves. My research also found that university teachers possessed a high degree of self-awareness about their responsibilities and professional capacity related to curriculum decision making. Although most university teachers thought they were encouraged to engage in curriculum decision making, they expressed an expectation of being given more roles and involvement in this process. Additionally, a majority of university teachers were worried about the limitations in their professional competence and the lack of professional development opportunities. They, therefore, suggested recommendations for facilitating Vietnamese university teachers' participation in curriculum decision making. These recommendations involved educational management and policy changes, professional development for university teachers, and changes in the curriculum perceptions of university teachers themselves.
Type of thesis
Nguyen, T. T. (2010). University teachers’ perceptions of their roles in curriculum decision making: A case study at Hanoi National University of Education (Vietnam) (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4315
The University of Waikato
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