I was born in Vietnam. I am an
international student and I am
studying the Bachelor of
Education at the University of
The Arts Curriculum does not have a central place in the
education system in Vietnam. However, the Arts are a
significant part of Vietnamese culture. Traditional dance,
drama, music, painting, craft etc. are valued and
considered to be important and children are exposed to
them through the celebration of community activities in
school, church, temple, and cultural festivities.
Personally, I have always been interested in the Arts,
particularly in drama, music and dance. As a child in
Vietnam, I was involved in a range of art activities in school,
church and community. We were poor and had very limited
resources but this required us to be very creative and to use
our imagination to make costumes, masks and back drops.
We made our own entertainment and I had many
opportunities to be involved with cultural programs organised
by church and community.
My very early involvement with the arts played an
important role in developing my music, dancing and
singing skills, and was important in helping me to develop
confidence in my ideas and self-expression. My exposure
to the arts throughout my life also had an influence on my
interest in becoming a teacher. I enjoyed exploring artistic
activities with my friends and building close relationships
with them as we choreographed our performances. I also
enjoyed teaching younger children these activities.
A Moon Festival in primary
school (1980s). We were creating
a drama presentation.
My costume for performance in a
traditional dance (1980s)
The youth choir singing at a religious festival.
As an Early-childhood educator in Vietnam, I
valued the Arts and I did focus on them in my
teaching both inside and outside of the classroom.
I tried to develop in the students an interest in the
Arts. This was not difficult, especially with young
children because they were naturally creative and
loved to dance, to sing and to perform.
In my study in Vietnam to become an Early-Childhood teacher, I
learned many practical skills and methods for the teaching the
Arts. Each Arts subject was taught as a separate unit. I cannot
remember being taught any theories that formed the basis of Arts
Education, I only remember the practical skills. Because of the
needs for resources for the community and the school where I
worked, I co-wrote and published a book which focused on
dance and drama. I was also involved in the production of a
number of dance and drama performances. I continue to be
passionate about teaching the Arts.
My first book about dance
and drama (2013)
As a director of dance and drama I
was involved in performances for
religious festivals (DVD 2008).
A music CD produced in Vietnam. I was a member
of this choir (2008)
I believe that the Arts are significant in helping us to
understand and express our individual identity. They
also provide meaning and continuity to a culture and
form a valuable connection from one generation to
the next. Exposure to different cultures through the
Arts encourages us to have a new understanding
and respect for cultural differences.
Since my arrival in Australia, I have had a further
opportunity to explore the Arts Curriculum. In particular,
this has helped me to develop a new understanding of the
theory that informs Arts Education.
Arts are central to the education of all students. Through
the Arts, students can come to a deeper understanding of
themselves and develop and explore their imagination,
ideas and feelings. They learn to express these
confidently in creative ways through a range of artistic
activities. They are encouraged to develop their aesthetic
appreciation of professional artists but they also
recognise that they too are artists and have the innate
ability to be imaginative and creative.
I would argue that the wider society, both in Vietnam and in
Australia, continue to value Maths, Literacy, Science and
Technology more than they do the Arts. Arts are considered to
be appropriate for small children and for children gifted in a
specific area of the Arts. Arts are sometime used to enhance
learning in other areas of the curriculum to make learning more
enjoyable and effective. However, it needs to be recognised that
authentic arts education has a valuable place in the curriculum
at every level in its own right.