Advertisement

The Curriculum in Praxis: How Purpose of School is Actualized in Vietnam, Mexico, and the USA

  • Sonja Varbelow
  • Donna Gee
Chapter
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)

Abstract

What is the purpose of school, and what role does culture play in how purpose is actualized? How this question is approached derives from a culture’s beliefs about life purpose, and those beliefs are nowhere better reflected than in the way a country passes civilization from one generation to the next through its education system. A country’s curriculum reflects how society thinks about what knowledge is of most worth, and its implementation indicates how this question is decided, which, ultimately, reflects cultural, philosophical, and political ideas about life purpose (Huebner, Poetry and power: The politics of curricular development. In: Hillis V (ed) The lure of the transcendent: collected essays by Dwayne E. Huebner. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, p 231–240, 1975/1999; Kincheloe, Critical pedagogy, 2nd edn. Peter Lang Publishing, New York, 2008). This chapter explores the role educational experiences in Vietnam, Mexico, and the USA play in how people create life purpose. It examines how each country defines and actualizes purpose of school. The theoretical framework for this study is narrativity, which is based on the idea that people think about their life’s experiences in terms of stories. These stories are synthesized not in chronological order but based on the significance a person assigns to them. The data analysis framework is narrative inquiry, which is situated in the qualitative research paradigm. This methodology allows us to think about social phenomena concretely and in depth (Polkinghorne 1995). Purposeful participant selection was employed to choose two participants from each country (Glesne, Becoming qualitative researchers: an introduction, 4th edn. Pearson, Boston, 2011). Data was collected through interviews, electronic email, and through current documents. The findings point to how curriculum reflects cultural and political beliefs about life purpose, the way in which an economically powerful country like the USA influences these beliefs, and how each country uses its education system as an instrument for further evolving truths. These findings allow educators to think about curriculum and the purpose of school with an epistemological lens that illuminates how educational experiences and the contextual factors in which they occur influence a person’s beliefs about life purpose.

References

  1. Amanti, C. (2013). International influence and the Mexican education system. Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10150/311475
  2. Barton, P. E., & Coley, R. J. (2011). The mission of the high school: A new consensus of the purposes of public education? Policy information perspective. Princeton: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  3. Chinh, N. D., Linh, L. T., Quynh, T. H., & Ha, N. T. (2014). Inequality of access to English language learning in primary education in Vietnam. Equality in Education, 139–153. doi: 10.1007/978-94-6209-692-9_11.
  4. Darling-Hammond, L., Amrein-Beardsley, A., Haertel, E., & Rothstein, J. (2012). Evaluating teacher evaluation. The Phi Delta Kappan, 93(6), 8–15. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41497541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Glesne, C. (2011). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  6. Hằng, N. V., Meijer, M. R., Bulte, A. M., & Pilot, A. (2015). The implementation of a social constructivist approach in primary science education in Confucian heritage culture: The case of Vietnam. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 10(3), 665–693. doi: 10.1007/s11422-014-9634-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huebner, D. (1975/1999). Poetry and power: The politics of curricular development. In V. Hillis (Ed.) The lure of the transcendent: Collected essays by Dwayne E. Huebner (pp. 231–240). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  8. Kincheloe, J. (2008). Critical pedagogy (2nd ed.). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ladson-Billings, G. (2016). And then there is this thing called the curriculum: Organization, imagination, and mind. Educational Researcher, 45(2), 100–104. doi: 10.3102/0013189x16639042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Levinson, B. A. (2014). Education reform sparks teacher protest in Mexico. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(8), 48–45. doi: 10.1177/003172171409500811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Magaziner, J., & Monroy, C. (2016). Education in Mexico. World Education News and Reviews. Retrieved from http://wenr.wes.org/2016/08/education-in-mexico
  12. National Institute of Education Management. (2016). Proceedings from the international conference in 2016: Developing professional competency for teachers and managers: Vietnam and global trends. Hanoi: Ministry of Education and Training.Google Scholar
  13. OECD. (2010). Pisa 2009 results: Executive summary. Retrieved from www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/46619703.pdf
  14. OECD. (2013). PISA 2012 results: What makes schools successful? Resources, polices and practices (Vol. IV). Pisa: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from  http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264201156-en
  15. Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Polkinghorne, D. (1995). Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 8(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Puryear, J., Santibañez, L., & Solano, A. (2012). Education in Mexico. In Emerging markets forum book chapters (pp. 87–108). Washington, DC: Emerging Markets Forum.Google Scholar
  18. Ravitch, D. (2016). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  19. Saldaña, J. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Santibañez, L., Vernez, G., & Razquin, P. (2005). Education in Mexico: Challenges and opportunities (Document number: DB-480-HF). Retrieved from RAND corporation website: http://www.rand.org/pubs/documented_briefings/DB480.html
  21. U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Testing: Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/accountability/ayp/testing-faq.html
  22. U.S. Network for Education Information. (2008, February 22). Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-index.html
  23. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2010/2011). World data on education. Retrieved from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/WDE/2010/pdf-versions/Viet_Nam.pdf
  24. World Bank Group. (2016). Education in Vietnam: Development history, challenges, and solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EDUCATION/Resources/278200-1121703274255/1439264-1153425508901/Education_Vietnam_Development.pdf

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja Varbelow
    • 1
  • Donna Gee
    • 1
  1. 1.Angelo State UniversitySan AngeloUSA

Personalised recommendations