PROSPECTS

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 177–190 | Cite as

National or global: The mutable concepts of identity and home for international school students

OPEN FILE

Abstract

This article examines a selection of responses about identity and belonging among students in an international school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who must often move from one continent to another because of the nature of their parents’ work. A review of the literature highlights some of the issues these students face within an international school community, including social, psychological, and academic difficulties. The students were interviewed about their nationalities, their sense of belonging, and their thoughts about the future. Their responses were video-recorded and analyzed by thematic groupings. Initial findings indicate three distinct groups of students: those who know exactly which country they come from, those who are not sure, and those who feel an attachment to a global rather than a national identity.

Keywords

International school Identity Globalization Brazil 

References

  1. Adler, P. S. (1975). The transitional experience: An alternative view of culture shock. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 15, 13–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (rev. ed.). London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Arnett, J. J. (2001). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: A cultural approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc.Google Scholar
  4. Bagnall, N. F. (2008). International schools as agents for change. New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Bagnall, N. F., & Cassity, E. A. (2012). Education and belonging. New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Bennett, M. J. (1993). Toward ethnorelativism: The developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (2nd ed., pp. 109–135). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
  7. Berger, J. B. (1997). Students’ sense of community in residence halls, social integration, and first-year persistence. Journal of College Student Development, 38, 441–452.Google Scholar
  8. Berger, P. L. (1997, October 1). Four faces of global culture. The national interest, 23–29.Google Scholar
  9. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Cole, M., & Cole, S. R. (1989). The development of children. New York: Worth.Google Scholar
  11. Dagenais, D. (2003). Accessing imagined communities through multilingualism and immersion education. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 2(4), 269–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ezra, R. (2003). Culture, language and personality in the context of the internationally mobile child. Journal of Research in International Education, 2(2), 12–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fail, H., Thompson, J., & Walker, G. (2004). Belonging, identity, and third culture kids: Life histories of former international school students. Journal of Research in International Education, 3(3), 319–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Faircloth, B. S., & Hamm, J. V. (2005). Sense of belonging among high school students representing 4 ethnic groups. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34(4), 293–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Finn, J. D. (1989). Withdrawing from school. Review of Educational Research, 59, 117–142.Google Scholar
  16. Gerner, M., Perry, F., Moselle, M., & Archibald, M. (1991). Characteristics of internationally mobile adolescents. Journal of School Psychology, 30, 197–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goodenow, C., & Grady, E. (1993). The relationship of school belonging and friends’ values to academic motivation among urban adolescent students. The Journal of Experimental Education, 62, 60–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grimshaw, T., & 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), 259–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guest, G., Bunce, A., & Johnson, L. (2006). How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods, 18(1), 59–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hayden, M. C., & Thompson, J. J. (2000). International schools and international education: Improving teaching, management and quality. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  21. Hays, T., & Minichiello, V. (2010). Using qualitative methods to explore the meaning and function of music in the lives of older people. In V. Minichiello & J. A. Kottler (Eds.), Qualitative journeys: Student and mentor experiences with research (pp. 141–156). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  22. 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.Google Scholar
  23. Jenner, B. & Titscher, S. (2000). Methods of text and discourse analysis. London, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  24. Johnson, D. R., et al. (2007). Examining sense of belonging among first-year undergraduates from different racial/ethnic groups. Journal of College Student Development, 48(5), 525–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kanno, Y. (2008). Language and education in Japan: Unequal access to bilingualism. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  26. Kanno, Y., & Norton, B. (2003). Imagined communities and educational possibilities: Introduction. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 2(4), 241–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Langford, M. (1998). Global nomads, third culture kids and international schools. In M. C. Hayden & J. J. Thompson (Eds.), International education: Principles and practice (pp. 28–43). London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  28. Leach, R. J. (1969). International schools and their role in the field of international education. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  29. Ma, X. (2003). Sense of belonging to school: Can schools make a difference? The Journal of Educational Research, 96(6), 340–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Maslow, A. H. (1962). Toward a psychology of being. Toronto: Van-Nostrand.Google Scholar
  31. Matthews, M. (1989). The scale of international education: Part 1. International Schools Journal, 17, 7–17.Google Scholar
  32. Mclachlan, D. A. (2007). Global nomads in an international school: Families in transition. Journal of Research in International Education, 6(2), 233–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Meeuwisse, M., Severiens, S. E., & Born, M. (2010). Learning environment, interaction, sense of belonging and study success in ethnically diverse student groups. Research in Higher Education, 51, 528–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Murphy, E. (2003). Monolingual international schools and the young non-English-speaking child. Journal of Research in International Education, 2(1), 25–45.Google Scholar
  35. Neuman, W. L. (2010). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (7th ed.). London: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  36. Pollock, D. C., & Van Reken, R. E. (2001). Third culture kids: The experience of growing up among worlds. London: Nicholas Brealey.Google Scholar
  37. Roeser, R. W., Midgley, C. M., & Urdan, T. C. (1996). Perceptions of the school psychological environment and early adolescents’ psychological and behavioural functioning in school: The mediating role of goals and belonging. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(3), 408–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schaetti, B. F. (1996). Phoenix rising: A question of cultural identity. In Z. Smith (Ed.), Strangers at home: Essays on the effects of living overseas and coming home to a strange land (pp. 177–188). New York: Aletheia Publications.Google Scholar
  39. Schneider, B. (2000). Friends and enemies: Peer relations in childhood. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  40. Sternberg, R. J., & Williams, W. M. (2001). Educational psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  41. Tomich, P., McWhirter, J., & King, W. (2000). International student adaptation: Critical variables. International Education, 19(29), 37–46.Google Scholar
  42. Useem, J., Donoghue, J. D., & Useem, R. H. (1963). Men in the middle of the third culture. Human Organization, 22(3), 169–179.Google Scholar
  43. Willis, D. B. (1992). A search for transnational culture: An ethnography of students in an international school in Japan. International Schools Journal, 2(24), 29–41.Google Scholar
  44. Willis, D. B., Enloe, W. M., & Minoura, Y. (1994). Transculturals, transnationals: The new diaspora. International Schools Journal, 14(1), 29–42.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© UNESCO IBE 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations