Nguyen Hoang Giang Le (Thompson Rivers University)
Title of Project: Teacher Professional Learning Community for Social Justice Education in Vietnam: An arts-based case study
Research Questions: The research’s purpose is to explore the changing perceptions of the Vietnamese traditional teachers towards an initiative of professional learning community, with the specialization in social justice for education. My research question: Do the Vietnamese teachers’ perceptions towards social justice education change as they participate in this new learning community paradigm?
Project Description: My research proposes an arts-directed model of teacher professional learning community (PLC) to shed light on social justice in Vietnamese teacher development. Drawing on the knowledge and research experiences of teacher professional development community in my master’s program, I employ arts-based research (ABR) approaches and talking circles in Indigenous traditional practices, as a medium of learning space, to build a new PLC paradigm for a group of high school teachers of English in Vietnam. An arts-based case study research explores how this PLC paradigm influences teachers’ perceptions towards the social justice pedagogy through the ABR approaches: photo-voice, interpretive biography, and art journaling. There are three phases: the first stage is to discover the long impacts of Vietnamese traditional education on teacher’s mindset of social inequities through photo-voice, the second is to investigate how teachers perceive the concept of social justice education through their exposure to the arts-constructed learning and sharing environment, and the last phase is to explore the potential presentation of social justice pedagogy in their teaching through story-sharing. The term, story-sharing is preferred to story-telling for the benefits of enhancing the reciprocal emotional connections between teachers-teachers and teachers-researcher.
Next steps for this project: I will carry out this study during my doctoral program at a Canadian institution. The research project is conducted over maximum two years. The next steps are exploring the essence of story-sharing in a comparison with story-telling in Indigenous traditional teaching and learning practices. Additionally, I will examine the effects of the new PLC paradigm to the Vietnamese teacher’s mindset indicating a favoritism to traditional educational approaches; hence, it may be helpful to modify the research methods or expand this model to teachers at other levels of education and a variety of disciplines, not only those in English language education. Drawing on my educational and professional training background in English language teaching, I will study the links between the English teacher education and their perceptions towards social justice in Vietnamese education under the impact of internationalization and neoliberalism.
CERA’s impact on Nguyen Hoang Giang Le’s work: CERA helps me broaden my horizon of an emerging educational researcher. It builds a solid base for me, as a young teacher from an under-developing Asian country, Vietnam, to grow strong and open with new perspectives on education in the age of internationalization. Obtaining precious opportunities to travel to the top and influential international conferences where I always feel blessed for meeting with and learning from the top-notch scholars whose research interests aligns with mine, and building a successful network with other researchers. I am a keen learner, young researcher, caring teacher with an Asian historically and culturally rooted mindset, striving to escape from the traditional education to open up to the creative and ethical education. CERA is a chance for me to explore the educational ideology that intersects my belief in education.