The new academic year has begun, but both school leaders and teachers still don’t know what they need to do when teaching integrated subjects.
Nguyen Van Luc is a teacher of history and citizen education at the Dien Khanh Secondary School in Khanh Hoa province. He has been assigned to teach history to sixth graders.
Luc said he is drafting lesson plans to prepare for the first teaching period, slated for September 13. History is designed as a part of the integrated learning subject of history-geography, but his school has both history and geography teachers, so each teacher will be in charge of a separate subject.
The teacher is worried about the periods where he has to teach content of both history and geography.
Teachers need to have both history and geography knowledge to be able to teach the integrated subject well.
“Most teachers are trained to teach a single subject. They will surely have difficulties as they have not been well trained to teach integrated subjects,” Luc explained.
A biology teacher in HCM City said her school will still assign many teachers to teach the integrated subject of Natural Sciences. This is the best choice for now.
“I will still be able to provide physics and chemistry knowledge to students, but honestly speaking, the knowledge will be summaries, not as detailed as the knowledge provided by the teachers trained to teach these subjects,” she said.
The teacher said if the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) doesn’t have solutions about teaching staff, she fears that Natural Sciences will be just a combination of three subjects – physics, chemistry and biology.
The headmaster of a secondary school in Nghe An admitted that he is confused when assigning teachers to teach integrated subjects.
“We are seriously lacking teachers, which makes it very difficult to arrange teachers for two integrated subjects – Natural Sciences and History-Geography for sixth graders,” he complained.
Mathematics, for example, comprises of Geometry and Algebra. And Natural Sciences comprises chemistry, biology and physics sub-subjects.
“The only difference is that instead of printing lessons in three textbooks, the lessons now can be found in one textbook,” he said.
The headmaster of a school in the suburbs of Hanoi commented that the spirit of ‘integration’ still has not been ensured, because schools were assigning many teachers to teach one subject, Natural Sciences.
Phuong Chi - Dong Ha
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