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2010 - 54th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Pages: unavailable || Words: 1292 words || 
1. Choi, Yoonjung. "Understanding national ideologies, power, and history textbook: A case study of North Koran history textbook" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 54th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, Feb 28, 2010 Online <PDF>. 2019-08-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study explores how North Korean history textbook serves North Korean communist ideology and creates official knowledge. Framed by critical theory, this qualitative study analyzes what the characteristics of the portrayal of the Korean War in the North Korean textbook are. Data shows that the textbook is strongly influenced by juche, the unique North Korean communist ideology to secure national unity. Designating American imperialists as the sworn enemy, the textbook uses the war as the source of trauma and hatred and creates collective memory of the War as it supposed to be. Implications for textbook studies are discussed.

2012 - Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies 44th Annual Convention Words: 50 words || 
2. Kudyma, Anna. "Teaching Writing: A New Russian Textbook for Heritage Learners 'We write in Russian: A Writing Textbook for Heritage Speakers', ZLATOUST (Saint Petersburg: Zlatoust, 2011)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies 44th Annual Convention, New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA, <Not Available>. 2019-08-22 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: This paper discusses the new Russian Textbook for Heritage Learners, Учимся писать по-русски: экспресс-курс для двуязычных взрослых, by Olga Kagan and Anna Kudyma, which offers successful strategies for teaching writing. The textbook can be used for L2 Learners as well. Samples of students’ writing assignments will be presented and analyzed.

2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 1026 words || 
3. Nguyen, Chi. "How do Vietnamese textbooks teach students morality? A content analysis of Vietnamese moral education textbooks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, Mar 05, 2017 <Not Available>. 2019-08-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: 1. Background and Objectives
Teaching and learning morality have always been the central focus of Vietnamese education (Doan, 2005; Rydstrøm, 2003). Moral education is integrated into the national standardized curriculum and taught as a separate, mandatory subject in all grade levels. Yet, moral education has been under critiqued for being ad-hoc, dogmatic, and loosely connected to the everyday lives of students. Students often perceive moral education as a compulsory but subordinate part of their schoolwork, which they are required to study rather than be interested in.
This study investigates the problems of Vietnamese moral education by analyzing its nationally standardized textbooks for primary school students. The study’s objectives are to (1) understand the most prominent moral knowledge and pedagogical approaches promoted by the textbooks and (2) assess their potential impacts on embracing students’ moral learning process.

2. Perspectives
The Vietnamese moral education has been shaped by two major ideologies: Confucianism and Communism (Burr, 2014; Doan, 2005). Confucianism is centered on the two moral concepts of relational hierarchy and interpersonal harmony (Zhang, Lin, Nonaka, & Beom, 2005). Relational hierarchy refers to the relationship between the “superior” and the “inferior,” in which those in the superior position provide guidance, love, and care to their inferiors, whereas, inferiors always obey their superiors (Phelps, Graham, Ha, & Geeves, 2014). In terms of interpersonal harmony, Confucianism emphasizes mutual sharing, collective respect, and harmonious relationships with others (Feng & Newton, 2012). Interpersonal harmony and relational hierarchy are intersected to reinforce and reproduce one another to maintain a harmonious society.
Meanwhile, Communism is centered on the two values of collectivism and social equality (Kwan-Choi, 2011). Collectivism posits that people need to work in a team and take responsibility as the whole group. Social equality emphasizes that people should be treated equally, regardless of their socioeconomic status or gender (Horton, 2011). While Confucianism and Communism both overlap and conflict with one another, they are intertwined in the development of Vietnamese moral values, cultures, and schooling.

3. Data and method
The study’s data were derived from a set of seven Vietnamese standardized moral education textbooks for primary school level (grades 1-5), reprinted in 2015. Using the thematic coding approach (Boyatzis, 1998), I coded the entire set of textbooks and identified several important themes that are related to my research questions. Then, I drew numerous excerpts according to the themes and translated them into English.

4. Preliminary Findings
Content knowledge
Our preliminary findings reveal the Confucian values of relational hierarchy and interpersonal harmony and the Communist values of collectivism are the most dominant themes in the textbooks. The Confucian values of relational hierarchy are mostly embedded in lessons about virtues, in which students are taught to be respectful, obedient to elders and tolerant to minors. The level of hierarchy is almost absolute. However, there is a little explanation why students should follow these principles. In other words, moral reasoning is ostracized.
The Confucian values of interpersonal harmony are integrated into lessons about sharing with and caring for others. This is often intersected with the Communist values of collectivism, in which students are encouraged to be uniform in appearance and manner, work in groups, and take responsibility as group members. The collectivist lessons appear to contradict the lessons on individualism, in which students are encouraged to work independently and to be responsible for their own mistakes. However, there is almost no explanation to justify which situations students should prioritize collective responsibility or independent responsibility.

Pedagogical approach
The traditional pedagogy — teacher-centered, direct instructional approach—is dominant in the textbooks (Hoy & Miskel, 2008). Most lessons begin with lecturing sections provided by the teacher and end with exercises for students to complete. Most exercises are designed to stimulate memorization and mechanical response in students, rather than critical thinking. This approach may constrain the process of reflective thinking and moral reasoning of students.

5. Significance
The study sheds light on the Vietnamese moral education and how its content knowledge and pedagogical approach may influence the learning experience of students. This study contributes to the scholarly understanding of Eastern moral education—one of the most important factors shaping students’ virtues and manners. It aims to draw educational stakeholders’ attention to the problems of teaching and learning moral education in modern Confucian and Communist societies. The findings may be applicable to other countries that share similar cultural and political ideologies, such as China and North Korea.


Boyatzis, R. E. (1998). Transforming qualitative information: Thematic analysis and code development. Sage.
Burr, R. (2006). Vietnam’s Children in a Changing World. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Burr, R. (2014). The complexity of morality: Being a “good child” in Vietnam? Journal of Moral Education, 43(2), 156–168.
Doan, D. H. (2005). Moral education or political education in the Vietnamese educational system? Journal of Moral Education, 34(4), 451–463.
Feng, L., & Newton, D. (2012). Some implications for moral education of the Confucian principle of harmony: learning from sustainability education practice in China. Journal of Moral Education, 41(3), 341–351.
Heslep, R. D. (1995). Moral education for Americans. Wesport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Horton, P. (2011). School Bullying and Power Relations in Vietnam. Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, 25(541), 268–277.
Horton, P., & Rydstrom, H. (2011). Heterosexual Masculinity in Contemporary Vietnam: Privileges, Pleasures, and Protests. Men and Masculinities, 14(5), 542–564.
Kwan‐Choi Tse, T. (2011). Creating good citizens in China: comparing Grade 7–9 school textbooks, 1997–2005. Journal of Moral Education, 40(2), 161–180.
Li, C. (2008). The Philosophy of Harmony in Classical Confucianism. Philosophy Compass, 3(3), 423–435.
London, J. D. (2011). Contemporary Vietnam’s Education System: Historical Roots, Current Trends. In J. D. London (Ed.), Education in Vietnam (pp. 1–56). Singapore, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Phelps, R., Graham, A., Ha Thi Tuyet, N., & Geeves, R. (2014). Exploring Vietnamese children’s experiences of, and views on, learning at primary school in rural and remote communities. International Journal of Educational Development, 36, 33–43.
Rydstrøm, H. (2001). “Like a White Piece of Paper”. Embodiment and the Moral Upbringing of Vietnamese Children. Ethnos, 66(3), 394–413.
Rydstrøm, H. (2003). Embodying morality: Growing up in rural northern Vietnam. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

2016 - LRA Annual Conference Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
4. Armstrong, Sonya., Lampi, Jodi. and Stahl, Norman. "When the Textbook is the Curriculum: A Content Analysis of Integrated Reading and Writing Textbooks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the LRA Annual Conference, OMNI Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee, Nov 29, 2016 Online <PDF>. 2019-08-22 <>
Publication Type: Roundtable
Review Method: Peer Reviewed

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