03.03.2014 - UNESCO Office in Hanoi

More engaging school lessons with intangible cultural heritage

©UNESCO/Vu Phuong Nga. Students experimenting sound oscillation with gongs at Thanh Hoi Secondary School in 7th grade physics lesson.

©UNESCO/Nguyen Duc Tang. Local tradition bearer facilitates a Muong traditional game in a 8th grade literature lesson.

Ha Noi, 28 February 2014 - Viet Nam has embarked as a pilot country for incorporating intangible cultural heritage into school curricula developing guidelines and modules for teachers to incorporate intangible cultural heritage into teaching and learning in order to reinforce cultural diversity as part of the project developed by UNESCO Bangkok Office “Promoting intangible cultural heritage for educators to reinforce education for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific Region”.

“I found the gongs borrowed from the Muong people, who live in the same community, a perfect tool for teaching my subject physics, particularly in illustrating how objects oscillate to create sounds. My students were so engaged in the lesson”, expressed Tran Van Hung, physics teacher from Thanh Hoi Secondary School. Huyen, a seventh grader from Tu Ne confided: “I feel that the literature class became so interesting because we had the chance to listen to a true artist who sang for us many Muong folk melodies and explained to us the meaning of lyrics in these songs”.

Over the past three months, a national team of staff from the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology, the Department of Secondary Education (Ministry of Education and Training) and teachers from three selected schools (Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi secondary schools in Tan Lac District, Hoa Binh Province and Le Quy Don secondary school in Cau Giay District, Ha Noi City) have worked closely to prepare learning materials and sample lesson plans on physics, biology, chemistry and literature for seventh and eighth grades.

Lessons taking place this week have been successful and help to prove that it is feasible to integrate intangible cultural heritage in classroom subjects, both in natural and social sciences. This approach also has great potential for the application at the national level and beyond.

The guidelines identify steps to integrate intangible cultural heritage into subjects taught in classroom and will concretize the Teachers’ Manual on Heritage Education launched in 2013 by Ministry of Education and Training and UNESCO Office in Viet Nam, covering a wider spectrum of cultural heritage, from tangible heritage (cultural and natural) and intangible cultural heritage to museums and sites. 

The project will end in June when the national team refines the guideline with sample lessons and disseminate widely in the Asia Pacific region and Viet Nam.


For more information, please contact:

Duong Bich Hanh

Culture Programme Coordinator

UNESCO Ha Noi Office

23, Cao Ba Quat Street

E-mail: db.hanh@unesco.org

Tel.: +84 (4) 37 47 02 75

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