Learning inequities in Vietnam: teachers’ beliefs about and classroom practices for ethnic minorities

Joan DeJaeghere, Vu Dao, Hang Duong, Phuong Luong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Global and national education agendas are concerned with improving quality and equality of learning outcomes. This paper provides an analysis of the case of Vietnam, which is regarded as having high learning outcomes and less inequity in learning. But national data and international test outcomes may mask the hidden inequities that exist between minoritized groups and majority (Kinh) students. Drawing on data from qualitative videos and interviews of secondary teachers, we examine teachers’ beliefs, curricular design and actions in ethnic minority and Kinh majority classrooms. We show that teachers hold different beliefs and engage in curricular design–or the use of hegemonic curriculum and instructional practices–that produce different learning outcomes for minoritized students compared to Kinh students. These findings suggest that policies need to focus on the social-cultural aspects of teaching in addition to the material and technical aspects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-416
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 12 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Oxford Policy Management, grant no. A0268 RISE Directorate, POI 1963. We would like to express our gratitude to the teachers who participated in this study, and the research team at VNIES who collected data and assisted with transcription in preparation for analysis. Our thanks also go to anonymous reviewers for providing constructive feedback that helped improve our manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 British Association for International and Comparative Education.


  • Inequality
  • Vietnam
  • classroom practices
  • ethnic minority
  • inequity
  • teachers’ beliefs


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