Impact of Significant Childhoodnature Experiences on Environmental Identity Formation for Globally Mobile Children Attending International Schools
How do globally mobile children, especially Third Culture Kids (TCKs), with their mobile lifestyles, form their environmental identities? Through their many relocations, they are constantly in a state of flux in their ever-changing lives. Therefore, as these expatriate children move in and out of various countries, cultures and schools, they may experience significant life experiences (SLEs) and learn who they are within their prevailing/temporary culture.
The nature of challenges faced by TCKs, the role international schools play in environmental identity formation and the creation of childhoodnature experiences in TCKs will be explored through my own lived experiences as a TCK. By framing an autoethnographical exploration of SLEs as a globally mobile child through photographs and poems, I will illustrate my own lived childhoodnature experiences growing up as a TCK in international schools in eight different countries before the age of 18.
Myers (1997) and Chawla (1998) identified the importance of both the outer environment of the physical and social world, and the inner environment of people’s own interests and feelings. Consequently, they recommended that additional research was needed exploring the influence of the inner environment in shaping an individual’s SLEs.
For TCKs, this inner environment is critically important in shaping their SLEs but sadly, within international schools, this is often overlooked. To support TCKs in achieving much needed harmony, support, stability, understanding, and attain a sense of belonging, strategies will be identified to assist staff and students of international schools.
KeywordsTCKs Identity formation Environmental identity Expatriate children Sense of belonging Mobility International schools
- Apte, M. (1994). Language in sociocultural context. In R. E. Asher (Ed.), The encyclopedia of language and linguistics (Vol. 4, pp. 2000–2010). Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Barker, M. (1990). Oriented for success: A resource book on overseas student services. Canberra: Australian Government Public Service.Google Scholar
- Bennett, J. A. (1993). Cultural marginality: Identity issues in intercultural training. In M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (2nd ed., pp. 109–135). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
- Buchanan, E. (2014). Third culture kids: the blended identity of an international education. The PIE Blog. Retrieved 18 Dec 2017, from https://blog.thepienews.com/2014/06/third-culture-kids-the-blended-identity-of-an-international-education.
- Bushong, L. (2013). Belonging everywhere and nowhere: Insights into counseling the globally mobile. Indianapolis, IND: Mango Tree Intercultural Services.Google Scholar
- Clayton, S. (2003). Environmental identity: A conceptual and operational definition. In S. Clayton & S. Opotow (Eds.), Identity and the natural environment: The psychological significance of nature (pp. 45–65). Cambridge, UK: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Colvin, C. R. (2013). Significant life experience: Exploring the lifelong influence of place-based environmental and science education on program participants (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Colorado, Denver, CO.Google Scholar
- Easthope, H. (2009). Fixed identities in a mobile world? The relationship between mobility, place and identity. Global Studies in Culture and Power, 16(1), 61–82.Google Scholar
- Eco-schools. (2014). Retrieved 10 Dec 2017, from http://www.ecoschools.global.
- Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle: Areissue. New York, NY: Norton.Google Scholar
- Finkelstein, J. (2006). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMaslow's_hierarchy_of_needs.svg [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons.
- Frankl, V. E. (2006). Man’s search for meaning. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Henderson, K., & Tilbury, D. (2004) Whole-school approaches to sustainability: An international review of sustainable school programs. Report prepared by the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES) for the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government.Google Scholar
- Holland, D., & Lave, J. (2001). History in person: An introduction. In D. Holland & J. Lave (Eds.), History in person (pp. 3–33). Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research.Google Scholar
- Lijadi, A., & Van Schalkwijk, G. (2014). Narratives of third culture kids: Commitment and reticence in social relationships. The Qualitative Report, 19(49), 1–18.Google Scholar
- McCaig, N. (1996). Understanding Global Nomads. In C. Smith (Ed.), Strangers at home: Essays on the effects of living overseas and coming “home” to a strange land (pp. 99–120). Bayside, NY: Aletheia.Google Scholar
- McLeod, S. (2017). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. SimplyPsychology. Retrieved 12 Oct 2017, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html.
- Myers, G. (1997). Significant life experiences and choice of major among undergraduate minorities and nonminority students majoring in environmental studies and other disciplines, paper presented at the Annual conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education, Vancouver, BC.Google Scholar
- Nagrath, C. (2011). What makes a school international? The international educator. Retrieved 15 Dec 2017 from https://www.tieonline.com/view_article.cfm?ArticleID=87.
- Oh My God. (2014). The process of adjustment when moving to another country. Retrieved 20 June 2017, from https://ohmygodd.com/side-effects-of-moving-to-a-new-country.
- Ota, D. (2014). Safe passage: How mobility affects people and what international schools should do about it. Lincolnshire, UK: Summertime Publishing.Google Scholar
- Picton, O., & Urquhart, S. (2018). Third culture kids and experiences of places. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie, K. Malone, & E. B. Hacking (Eds.), International research handbook on Childhoodnature. Springer International Publishing AG.Google Scholar
- Piskóti, M. (2015). The role of environmental identity in the development of environmentally conscious behaviour (Unpublished PhD thesis). Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary.Google Scholar
- Pollock, D., & Van Reken, R. (1999). Third culture kids: The experience of growing up among worlds. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
- Pollock, D. C., & Van Reken, R. E. (2009). Third culture kids: The experience of growing up among worlds (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Pub.Google Scholar
- Relocate Global. (2015). International schools market expands to 8,000 schools. Retrieved 23 June 2017, from http://www.relocatemagazine.com/news/ak-11-d2-2015-7857-international-schools-market-expands-to-8000-schools.
- Schaetti, B. (1996). Phoenix rising: A question of cultural identity. In C. Smith (Ed.), Strangers at home: Essays on the effects of living overseas and coming “home” to a strange land (pp. 177–188). Bayside, NY: Aletheia.Google Scholar
- Smith, C. (Ed.). (1996). Strangers at home: Essays on the effects of living overseas and coming “home” to a strange land. Bayside, NY: Aletheia.Google Scholar
- Spencer-Oatey, H. (2012) What is culture? A compilation of quotations. GlobalPAD Core Concepts. Retrieved 18 Dec 2017, from http://www.warwick.ac.uk/globalpadintercultural.
- Stevenson, K., Nils Peterson, M., Carrier, S. J., Strnad, R. K., Bondell, H. D., Kirby-Hathaway, T., & Moore, S. E. (2014). Role of significant life experiences in building environmental knowledge and behaviour among middle school students. The Journal of Environmental Education, 45, 163–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN.org). (2016). Retrieved 20 June 2017, from http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2016/01/244-million-international-migrants-living-abroad-worldwide-new-un-statistics-reveal.
- Wechsler, A. (2017) The international-school surge. The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 Dec 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/06/the-international-school-surge/528792.
- Zimmermann, K. (2017). What is culture? Definition of culture. Retrieved 11 Nov 2017, from http://amp.livescience.com.