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Learning to Listen: Children's Voices Guiding Change in Rural Vietnam Open Access


Other title
rural Vietnam
development education
participatory development
child-centred education
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Maideen, Freda T
Supervisor and department
Shultz, Lynette (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Abdi, Ali A. (Educational Policy Studies)
Johnston, Ingrid (Secondary Education)
Department of Educational Policy Studies
Theoretical, Cultural, and International Studies in Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Although Vietnam has made notable progress in terms of economic development, the transition from a social to market-based economy has exacerbated education accessibility and availability for individuals who are living in poverty. In efforts to unearth the educational experiences and views of children who are affected by poverty, this study was conducted in Quang Nam province in Central Vietnam where the education of thousands of children has been inevitably affected by limited fiscal resources. Despite the plethora of research on child poverty, only a small selection of this body of research focuses on the effects of living in poverty on education from the experiences and perspective of the child, and an even fewer amount of the research concentrates on the child’s experiences and views within a rural Vietnamese context, where child poverty remains a pervasive issue. Therefore, an integral goal of this qualitative study is to analyze educational issues through the lens of the child by using constructivist and interpretivist approaches. The results of this study demonstrated that children had pertinent suggestions for education improvement as they were given opportunities to exercise their agency. The children in this study proved to be valuable sources of knowledge where insightful experiences and views regarding child labour, household educational costs, information retention, applicability of knowledge, supportive pedagogy, and child-centred learning were shared. Research findings were placed in the larger context of development discourse and post-development theory to emphasize that in order for development initiatives within the education sector to be implemented in a sustainable and meaningful manner, the most pertinent voices need to be guiding the change: the children’s voices.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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