Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

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Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Political Science Department

First Advisor

Roseann Liu

Second Advisor

Shervin Malekzadeh


This thesis examines the design and implementation of Vietnam Escuela Nueva, an educational intervention project that borrows from a Colombian schooling model to introduce progressive, student-centered pedagogies to Vietnam. This case fits into the broader phenomenon of global educational convergence, and consequently, it raises interesting questions about agendas behind policy-borrowing and the local mediation of global ideas. Through discourse analysis of policy documents and public opinion, as well as qualitative interviews with a variety of stakeholders, Vietnam Escuela Nueva emerges as not just a technical educational intervention but a battleground for local negotiation of culture, legitimacy, and the identity ofthe ideal modern Vietnamese citizen. In this encounter between a global idea and the local environment, the actualization of Vietnam Escuela Nueva is driven by collective desires for a new ideal citizen, local systems of reasoning that privilege a 'textbook' mentality to policy implementation, and the decisions pursued by a country in search of modernity despite these constraints.