Under pressure of the continuing need to modernize, Vietnam is rapidly reforming its education system. Cooperative Learning (CL) with a Western-based model is being enthusiastically applied. This paper suggests that an authentic form of CL has long existed in the foundations of Vietnamese education. The reasons why Western-based CL is encouraged can be attributed to false universalism (the belief that a practice that originated from elsewhere can be “cloned” with similar results) and neo-colonialism (the perpetuation of a colonial mindset under the pressure of financial loans). While an adjusted form of CL has been suggested by previous studies to make CL culturally appropriate, this paper argues that a true hybrid form of CL which takes into account the authentic CL will have more potential to make this method not only culturally but institutionally appropriate. The paper indicates a strong need to identify and incorporate indigenous practice in the process of educational reform.