Dạy vẽ Tiểu học | Teaching and Learning the Arts

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The Vietnamese Context for Early ChildhoodArt Education

The Vietnamese Context for Early ChildhoodArt Education - How to draw a picture - Art Education for Kids
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The Vietnamese Context for Early ChildhoodArt Education
Vietnam's art history follows a very different pattern to that of Australia. The dominant tradition in art in Vietnam is folk arts, including woodcuts, textiles and pottery. In the early twentieth century, the French colonials established a fine arts
school to provide formal art education and taught a range of European ideas about modernism. The importation of ideas from the West affected the development of art within Vietnam and had a profound impact on the overall development of the visual aesthetic in the country. In addition, all aspects of art education were affected by the introduction of the fine arts school and its philosophical views. Thus, over time, many artists and teachers began to adopt ideas from the modern artists into their own art and into the curriculum for children (Nguyen, 1993).

National reform curriculum standards in Vietnam apply to all children in kindergartens and schools across the country. In this paper, the focus is on national standards as they apply to art in the kindergarten years in Vietnam (ages 3-6).
Children in Vietnamese kindergartens receive approximately 100 hours of formal sessions ocussing on art over a 3-year period. The time allocation is mandated as part of the uniform curiculum standards which are applied to kindergarens all over the country. Under the guidelines, children are expected to participate in three main activities in their art education — (i) draw & paint,(ii) knead & mould, and (iii) tear/cut and paste.

The Vietnamese Context for Early ChildhoodArt Education
When children enter the primary school in Vietnam, the emphasis shifts from a strong arts-based earning environment to one where literacy and numeracy dominates the curriculum.
Three key objectives have been set by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to ocus and direct kindergarten children's art education:

• to build in children of 3-6 years of age the primary foundations of aesthetic feelings, understanding and knowledge of the arts;
• to foster children's love of and capacity to create beauty; and
• to contribute to the children's total development and preparation for primary education through activities which encourage concentration, listening, creation, imagination, observation, and analysis.
According to MOET, it is anticipated that a good teacher should be able to direct young children's art education in a systematic and orderly fashion over 3 years. In Vietnam, 3-4 years old children, are expected to gain various benefits and perform certain tasks as the result of their art education. For example, they are expected to express their feelings and sensations, to increase their observation powers, to identify forms and colours, to describe simple and familiar objects, to use dough and clay to make and name products, to use and name red, blue, yellow, black and white, and to develop habits, such as following teacher's directions and preserving their products (see plate 8).
Over 3 years in the kindergarten, expectations about children's performance in the arts change and become increasingly more sophisticated. By the time children enter primary school, it is expected that their knowledge base and performance in the visual arts will be quite a bit broader than at 3-4 years of age. Curriculum documents cite specific objectives for children to achieve before they enter primary school. They are: to be aware of the nature of and changes which come about as the result of the use of different colours, shapes and arrangements, to communicate feelings and ideas through both language and products, to describe characteristics of form, line, techniques and composition while engaged in making artistic products, to use and name red, blue, yellow, green, orange, brown, violet, black and white, to acquire and use simple knowledge of decoration, to communicate and exchange ideas when working in a group, to make collective (group) products, and to develop good work habits such as careful preparation, meeting objectives, and completing work. Kindergarten children in Vietnam learn how to realize their ideas through an art programme which stresses equal parts of original creative thinking and structured formal lessons in art techniques (see plates 9 and 10). Within each of the three main art activities (paint/draw, cut/paste, knead /mould), young children are expected to learn artistic concepts, to
use their visual sense, and to acquire first-hand information about the materials and the techniques
used in the visual arts. The emphasis on the discipline, structure and technical knowledge of the visual arts is balanced with an emphasis on children's imagination, creativity and self expressive capacities, indicating that both structure and freedom are central to the philosophy of early childhood art education in Vietnam. While these seemingly difficult objectives might challenge the best of teachers, the training of Vietnamese kindergarten teachers focuses considerable time and attention on preparing students to become competent and knowledgeable teachers in the arts for young
children. With enrolments of about 350 children in metropolitan kindergartens, a few programmes may employ artists / teachers to direct the arts for young children but this is not always the case. If appointed, these artists/teachers work in specialist studios and are supported in their teaching by the presence of the regular classroom teacher and
teaching assistant who accompany the children when they attend specialist classes. Children receive their direct instruction in art from the specialist teacher. In their regular kindergarten classroom, children may be involved in less formal and less structured visual arts experiences where they practise some of their new-found skills. Generalist
early childhood teachers who have completed the kindergarten teaching course will have been exposed to a strong arts curriculum with up to 40 per cent of the course involving students in learning about their own and children's artistry (including the visual and performing arts). If their teacher is strong in the visual arts, there will be continued support for children's artistic learning in the day-to-day activities of the kindergarten. Since the primary school curriculum does not
emphasise the visual arts in the basic education programme, many Vietnamese parents enrol their children in after school programmes managed by various clubs, organizations and the national network of children's cultural palaces. For a relatively small amount of money, children receive tuition in drawing and painting at these popular venues
throughout the country. Artists usually run the classes and are monitored by a master artist who heads the art department. Children in these classes often submit their art for national and international competitions and have been among the award winners in regional and international children's art competitions (see plates 11 and 12).

Vietnam is a poor country and has suffered severe scarcity in many ways over the past few decades. Since the advent of the open door policy, there are more materials available but the standard equipment for most programmes working with children is crayons, felt pens, paper, paste, and plasticine. Paint is reserved for children who have shown considerable skill and ability and is usually presented to children beyond the early childhood years.
In summary, Vietnam's government has emphasized the importance of the arts for young children through its systematic educational programme for kindergartens. The MOET's goals are far from fully achieved for all children throughout the country. Due to severe funding problems and a shortage of qualified teachers in kindergartens, the goals of the official curriculum are a reality for only a small number of young Vietnamese children. For the most part, those children who live in cities have advantages over those who live in rural and remote locations. The present situation for children's art education in rural and remote kindergartens is described as "not as good" as in the cities.

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