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Yokohama International School Third Culture Kids & Global Nomads Some research to date and implications for international schools Dr Mary Hayden 1 & 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Yokohama International School Third Culture Kids & Global Nomads Some research to date and implications for international schools Dr Mary Hayden 1 & 2."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Yokohama International School Third Culture Kids & Global Nomads Some research to date and implications for international schools Dr Mary Hayden 1 & 2 June 2011

3 Third Culture Kids/Global Nomads Who are they? What sorts of characteristics/experiences do they share? How may (international) schools best support them?

4 Who are they? Global Nomads (McCaig, 1992) are “perpetual outsiders, …. born in one nation, raised in others, flung into global jet streams by their parents’ career choices and consequent mobility. [They] shuttle back and forth between nations, languages, cultures and loyalties. They live unrooted childhoods” (Eidse and Sichel, 2004)

5 The Third Culture Kid TCK as a term coined by Useem and Useem in the 1950s after research with expatriate American families in India, and then with the expatriate children on return to the USA Tends to be used interchangeably with Global Nomad (should it be?) Other terms and sub-groupings include ‘Missionary Kids’ (MKs), ‘Preacher Kids’ (PKs), ‘Military Brats’ Willis, Enloe and Minoura (1994) refer to the ‘New Diaspora’ of ‘transculturals’ or ‘transnationals’

6 The Third Culture Kid “Although they have grown up in foreign countries, they are not integral parts of those countries. When they come to their country of citizenship (some for the first time), they do not feel at home because they do not know the lingo or expectations of others - especially those of their own age. Where they feel most like themselves is in that interstitial culture, the third culture, which is created, shared and carried by persons who are relating societies, or sections thereof, to each other” (Useem, 1976)

7 Why are they in international schools? Less enthusiasm than previously for ‘boarding’ children while parents travel (Harry Potter notwithstanding) Lack of suitable education in national system (for various reasons) For non-native English speaking families, international school may be favoured for English medium education (“proxy language school”: Deveney 2000) Transferability/recognition of the curriculum

8 What sorts of characteristics/ experiences do they share? TCKs live in a “jumbo jet culture, where pint-sized travellers flash their passports in exotic airports, or smoothly exit in chauffeur-driven airport limousines or embassy cars” (Pascoe, 1993) In many respects they are privileged. Benefits of such a lifestyle include “an expanded view of the world, adaptability, cross-cultural skills, social skills, observational skills and linguistic skills” (Rader and Sittig, 2003)

9 ‘TCK’ characteristics Some of the more negative characteristics can include “confused loyalties, a sense of rootlessness and restlessness, a lack of true identity, and unresolved grief” (Rader and Sittig, 2003) a “residue of unresolved grief, anger and depression” and a reluctance to form close emotional bonds (Pollock, 1994 in Pollock & Van Reken, 1999)

10 Some (eg adaptability) are a mixture of positive and negative... “They show forced extroversion by going out of their way to get to meet new people and form friendships quickly. They tend to mesh and mimic, which cuts down on the need to gain acceptance. They travel lightly, entering relationships that are typically short- term and intense, and they develop ease in saying goodbye, leaving very few people from whom they cannot walk away” [McKillop-Ostrom, 2000]

11 TCK characteristics Identity: can be a lack of clarity as to ‘who they are’, where they ‘belong’, where is ‘home’ “Home is where we are living together as a family at the moment; our nationality is Canadian” (Pascoe, 1993); family home in Canada acts as base to which they return during vacations and between assignments See, eg, Grimshaw T and Sears C (2008) Where am I from? Where do I belong? The negotiation and maintenance of identity by international school students, Journal of Research in International Education, 7, 3,

12 Culture Shock Models originated in 1950s (U-curve and, later, W curve) begin with first stage of initial enthusiasm. Will all TCKs be enthusiastic about the move? TCK’s whole family may be culture shocked: some suggestion that strongest correlation with children settling quickly is level of contentment of mother (for traditional family unit)

13 Cultural learning Some culture shock not necessarily negative: it is only with some shock that cultural learning takes place, leading to ‘intercultural literacy’ (Heyward, 2002; Allan, 2002 and 2003) Allan refers to ‘cultural dissonance’, finding in a study in his own school that intercultural learning took place mainly in students from outside the majority (Anglo- American) culture

14 Language International schools generally English-medium; non- English speakers require additional support (ESL, EAL, ESOL …..); pull-out programmes, support in the homeroom, …… Increasing numbers of international school students are not native English speakers (Carder, 2007) What does it mean for a child to be ‘bilingual’ or ‘multilingual’?

15 Language …... ‘Semilingualism’: having some but not ‘sufficient’ competence in two languages (Baker, 2001) ‘Functional Multilingualism’: being multilingual at a surface level of conversation, but appearing to have difficulty developing abstractions and higher order thinking skills: thinking remains ‘stuck’ at a concrete level (Kusuma-Powell, 2004)

16 Language ….. Link between language development and cognitive development processes: does lack of support for young child’s ‘first language’ (if not English, in an English-medium international school) delay cognitive development? (Murphy, 2003) Importance of supporting mother tongue development (Carder, 2007)

17 How may (international) schools best support them?

18 [see, eg, Langford (1998), Davis (2001), Dixon & Hayden (2008)] Ensure teachers are trained in working with TCKs, eg: familiarity with a range of cultural norms [‘look me in the eye when I’m speaking to you!’] understanding and recognising stages of culture shock being knowledgeable about various stages of language development for supporting non-native English speakers

19 Ensure schools provide support in relation to: celebrating positive characteristics of TCKs counselling for new and departing students classroom activities to facilitate arrival of new pupils classroom activities to facilitate pupils’ departure support/professional development for teachers (development of a ‘profiling’ portfolio to aid transfer)

20 develop ‘transition resource teams’ (of 7-10 teachers, counsellors, administrators, parents, students) - such as at UNIS-Hanoi - to deliver ‘transition programmes’, coordinate activities within school and increase expertise among team members and staff more widely (McKillop-Ostrom, 2000)

21 Some interesting issues Rapidly growing numbers of TCKs/global nomads Growing complexity of their characteristics (eg 3 rd, 4 th generation TCKs with no concept of ‘home’ country) Growing number of non-English speaking students in international schools Growing number of non-TCKs in international schools Experiences of children of international school educators (cf Zilber, 2009) And …… growing number of ‘Adult TCK’ (ATCK) teachers in international schools

22 References Allan M (2002) Cultural Borderlands: a case study of cultural dissonance in an international school, Journal of Research in International Education, 1, 1, Allan M (2003) Frontier Crossings: cultural dissonance, intercultural learning and the multicultural personality, Journal of Research in International Education, 2, 1, Baker C (2001) Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (3rd edition), Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Carder, M. (2007) Bilingualism in International Schools: a model for enriching language education, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Davis R P (2001) Wherever I Lay My Hat, That’s My Home, University of Bath: Unpublished dissertation for MA in Education Deveney M (2000) An Investigation into the Influences on Parental Choice of an International School in Thailand, unpublished dissertation for MA in Education (International Education), University of Bath Dixon P G S and Hayden M C (2008) ‘On the Move’: Primary Age Children in Transition, Cambridge Journal of Education, 38, 4, Eidse F and Sichel N (2004) Introduction, in F Eidse and N Sichel (eds) (2004) Unrooted Childhoods: memoirs of growing up global, Nicholas Brealey Publishing: London and Yarmouth, Maine Fail H, Thompson J and Walker G (2004) Belonging, Identity and Third Culture Kids: life histories of former international school students, Journal of Research in International Education, 3, 3, Grimshaw T and Sears C (2008) Where am I from? Where do I belong? The negotiation and maintenance of identity by international school students, Journal of Research in International Education, 7, 3, Heyward M (2002) From International to Intercultural: Redefining the International School for a Globalized World, Journal of Research in International Education, 1, 1, 9-32 Kusuma-Powell O (2004) Multi-lingual, But Not Making It in International Schools, Journal of Research in International Education, 3, 2,

23 Langford M (1998) Global Nomads, Third Culture Kids and International Schools, in M C Hayden and J J Thompson (eds) (1998) International Education: Principles and Practice, London: Kogan Page McCaig N (1992) Birth of a Notion, The Global Nomad Quarterly, 1, 1, 1-2 McKillop-Ostrom A (2000) Student Mobility and the International Curriculum, in M C Hayden and J J Thompson (eds) (2000) International Schools and International Education: improving teaching, management &quality, Kogan Page: London Murphy E (2003) Monolingual International Schools and the Young Non-English- Speaking Child, Journal of Research in International Education, 2, 1, Pascoe R (1993) Culture Shock! Successful Living Abroad: A Parent’s Guide, Portland, Oregon: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company Pollock D C and Van Reken R E (1999) The Third Culture Kid Experience: growing up among worlds, Intercultural Press Inc: Yarmouth, Maine Rader D and Sittig L H (2003) New Kid in School: Using Literature to Help Children in Transition, New York: Teachers College Press Schaetti B (1993) The Global Nomad Profile, in The Global Nomad: the Benefits and Challenges of an Internationally Mobile Childhood, Regents College Conference, London, 23 April 1993 Schaetti B F (2002) Attachment Theory: A View Into the Global Nomad Experience, in M G Ender (ed) (2002) Military Brats and Other Global Nomads: growing up in organization families, Praeger: Westport Connecticut and London Useem R H (1976) Third Culture Kids, Today’s Education, 65, 3, Willis D B, Enloe W W and Minoura Y (1994) Transculturals, Transnationals: The New Diaspora, International Schools Journal, XIV, 1, Zilber E (2009) Third culture kids : the children of educators in international schools, Woodbridge: John Catt Educational

24 Dr Mary Hayden


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