Scientific workshop: “Human-centered education”

On May 23rd 2016, a scientific workshop called “Human-centered education” was held in Room D201. It was organized with a great help of Faculty of Education in association with Office of Scientific Research and Project Management, USSH VNU HCMC. The workshop’s key speaker was Prof. Garrett Thomson from Wooster University, USA.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tho and Dr. Nguyen Hoang Yen, Head and Deputy Head of Office of Scientific Research and Project Management, respectively, Dr. Hoang Mai Khanh, Dean of Faculty of Education, Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nhan and Dr. Nguyen Thi Hao, the Vice Deans of Faculty of Education attended the workshop. Lecturers from University of Pedagogy HCMC also came there. Besides, there were representatives from the School for Human Resource of Educational Management, Department of Education and Training in Dong Thap province, and many teachers from Dong Thap, Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City as well.


Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tho. Photo: Viet Thanh


At first, Prof. Garret Thomson introduced the theory of “human-centered education” which emphasizes the subjective role of learners. He pointed out fundamental problems of education and suggested that all teaching and learning activities must be attached with clear goals.

Dr. Hoang Mai Khanh - Dean of Faculty of Education with Prof. Garret Thomson. Photo: Việt Thành 


Education should be seen firstly as a means to reach different social goals. Then it should be seen as means to reach academic goals and to develop people individually. Human development must be the most important aim of education. Human is believed the first and most valued. Therefore human development and wellbeing should become our priorities.

Photo: Việt Thành


At the same time, Prof. Thomson believed that educational values are not instrumental. Because if learners are considered an instrument, education would be a restraint and then learners might lose a chance to experience true educational values. Education has positive meanings when learners still keep their own intrinsic values, therefore all training programs need to be designed so as to adapt to learners rather than vice versa.


Prof. Garret Thomson. Photo: Việt Thành 


The professor also mentioned briefly the nature of learning, the important of characters and personal qualities and three main principles of “human-centered education” as follow:

1. People should be treated humanely and considered those who have their own intrinsic values;

2. Human development should be seen in terms of wellbeing;

3. People should be seen from a comprehensive perspective which includes perceptions, emotions, characters etc.


Human-centered education are basically applied in syllabus design, teaching and learning activities, learner evaluation and creating a real learning community.


In the afternoon, participants divided into small groups to discuss suggested questions. Everyone shared their experiences, educational methods and challenges in pursuing humanistic education and gave some realistic suggestions based on the philosophy of “human-centered education.”


After discussions, a representative of each group presented a summary of what had been discussed. Prof. Garrett Thomson also spent some time to share his experiences on specific issues in which the Vietnamese educationalists may be interested.


On behalf of all participants, Dr. Nguyen Hoang Yen thanked Prof. Garret Thomson for his valuable talk. Participants all hoped that there would be other activities to continue bringing the philosophy of “human centered education” into practice.

Khoa Giáo dục & P.QLKH-DA

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