Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Projects and researches
Published: 2020-12-30

Community and Sense of Place in an International School Context

University of Bucharest, Department of Psychology
sense of place self-identification school

Abstract

This study seeks to identify and explore the sense of place that Third Culture Kids (TCKs) have and the various interpretations that TCKs have regarding their lived reality, as they form part of the international community in Romania. This study contextually explores the sense of belonging to a place. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the role and ways of implementing "Place Based Education" in the context of international and multicultural education systems that serve TCK populations. This was done while trying to understand concepts from the expatriate way of life as expressed by TCKs who attend the American International School of Bucharest. Two main assumptions form the grounds of this study: When an international school combines an International Baccalaureate (IB) system with Place Based Education (PBE) criteria, would it contribute in creating a "Sense of Place" towards the school and contribute in creating a positive foreigner self-identification? This research aims to understand whether and how PBE can be implemented in an international school. Throughout two academic school years, field observations and interviews with students and school staff were conducted. The data analysis resulted in three main findings. The first finding was ambivalent feelings towards the host country that were connected to expressions of place attachment, place dependence and place identity. The second finding was self-identification as a TCK and a sense of belonging to an international community. The third and most surprising finding was a strong sense of place in relation to the school. This process led to comparing Place Based Education criteria to the criteria of the International Baccalaureate program and discovering that these two pedagogical worlds are overlapping and can therefore be easily combined.

References

  1. Andresen, M., Bergdolt, F., Margenfeld, J., & Dickmann, M. (2014). Addressing international mobility confusion – Developing definitions and differentiations for self-initiated & assigned expatriates as well as migrants. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(16), 2295–2318. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2013.877058
  2. Anton, C., & Lawrence, C. (2014). Home Is Where the Heart Is: The Effect of Place of Residence on Place Attachment and Community Participation. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 451–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2014.10.007
  3. Bauman, Z. (1988). Freedom. Stony Stratford: Open University Press.
  4. Bray, M., & Yamato, Y. (2003). Comparative education in a microcosm: Methodological insights from the international schools sector in Hong Kong. International Review of Education, 49(1–2), 51–73. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1094-8_4
  5. Brown, G. G., Reed, P., & Harris, C. C. (2002). Testing a place-based theory for environmental
  6. evaluation: An Alaskan case study. Applied Geography, 22(1), 49–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0143-6228(01)00019-4
  7. Cottrell, A. B. (2009, Summer). TCK RESEARCH: A BRIEF LOOK BACK AND AHEAD. TCK Research Network News, 2(2). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330752212_ TCK_RESEARCH_A_BRIEF_LOOK_BACK_AND_AHEAD
  8. Cottrell, A. B. (1999, April 11). ATCKs have problems relating to their own ethnic groups. TCK World: The Official Home of Third Culture Kids. http://www.tckworld.com/useem/art4.html
  9. Ezra, R. (2003). Culture, language and personality in the context of the internationally mobile child. Journal of Research in International Education 2(2), 123–149. https://doi.org/10.1177/14752409030022001
  10. Gerner, M. E., Perry, F., Moselle, M. A. & Archbold, M. (1992). Characteristics of Internationally Mobile Adolescents. Journal of School Psychology, 30(2), 197–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-4405(92)90031-Y
  11. Getting Smart. (2017, February 9). What is Place-Based Education and Why Does it Matter?
  12. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/02/what-is-place-based-education/
  13. Getting Smart. (2017, March 2). Quick Start Guide to Place-Based Professional Learning.
  14. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/03/place-based-professional-learning/
  15. 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. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475240908096483
  16. Halic, O., Bergeron, L., Kuvaeva, A., & Smith, A. (2015). The International Baccalaureate’s Bilingual Diploma: Global trends, pathways, and predictors of attainment. International Journal of Educational Research, 69(1), 59–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2014.10.004
  17. Hay, R. (1998). Sense of place in developmental context. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 18(1), 5–29. https://doi.org/10.1006/jevp.1997.0060
  18. Hayden, M., & Thompson, J. (2008). International Schools: Growth and Influence. UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.
  19. Hayden, M. (2011). Transnational spaces of education: The growth of the international school sector. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 9(2), 211–224. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2011.577203
  20. International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). (n.d.). Mission. https://www.ibo.org/about-the-ib/mission/
  21. ICEF Monitor (2014, March 18). New data on international schools suggests continued strong growth. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from https://monitor.icef.com/2014/03/new-data-on-international-schools-suggests-continued-strong-growth-2/
  22. International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). (n.d.). The IB Teaching Style.
  23. https://www.ibo.org/benefits/the-ib-teaching-style/
  24. International Schools Consultancy Research (ISC). (2015). About the International Schools Market. https://www.iscresearch.com/about-us/the-market
  25. Jorgensen, B., & Stedman, R. (2006). A comparative analysis of predictors of sense of place dimensions: attachment to, dependence on, and identification with lakeshore properties. Journal of Environmental Management, 79(3), 316–327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2005.08.003
  26. Judson, G. (2016, October 25). Guidelines for Assessment of Place-Based Learning. https://www.gettingsmart.com/2016/10/guidelines-for-assessment-of-place-based-learning/
  27. McNeely, C., & Blanchard, J. (2009). The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  28. McNulty, Y., & Brewster, C. (2017). Theorizing the meaning(s) of ‘expatriate’: establishing boundary conditions for business expatriates. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(1), 27–61. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2016.1243567
  29. Moore, R. L., & Graefe, A. R. (1994). Attachments to recreation settings: The case of rail-trail users. Leisure Sciences, 16(1), 17–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490409409513214
  30. Orr, D. (1992, October). Environmental Literacy: Education as if the Earth Mattered. 12th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures.
  31. Orr, D. (1992). Place and pedagogy (p.188). In D. Orr, Ecological Literacy: Education and Transition to a Postmodern World (pp. 125–131). State University of New York Press.
  32. Orr, D. (2015, January/February). Lost For Words: A plea for the appreciation of language, literature and the use of well-crafted words. POWER TO THE PEOPLE, (288), Keynotes. https://www.resurgence.org/magazine/issue288-power-to-the-people.html
  33. Osterman, K. F. (2000). Students’ Need for Belonging in the School Community. Review of Educational Research, 70(3), 323–367. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543070003323
  34. Pollock, D. C., & Van Reken, R. E. (2009). Third Culture Kids: Growing Up among Worlds (Rev.ed.). Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
  35. Proshansky, H. M., Fabian, A. K., & Kaminoff, R. (1983). Place-identity: Physical world socialization of the self. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 39(1), 57–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-4944(83)80021-8
  36. Schacter, D. L., & Addis, D. R. (2007). On the constructive simulation of past and future events. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30(3), 331–332. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X07002178
  37. Schaetti, B. F. (1993, April 23). The Global Nomad Profile. In The Global Nomad: Benefits and challenges of an Internationally Mobile Childhood. Regents College Conference, London.
  38. Schwartz, S. J., Montgomery, M. J., & Briones, E. (2006). The role of identity in acculturation among immigrant people: Theoretical propositions, empirical questions, and applied recommendations. Human Development, 49(1), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1159/000090300
  39. Shamai, S. (1991). Sense of place: an empirical measurement. Geoforum, 22(3), 347–358.
  40. https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-7185(91)90017-K
  41. Sobel, D. (2005). Place-based education: connecting classrooms & communities (2nd ed.). Great Barrington, MA: Orion Society.
  42. Sylvester, R. (2002). Mapping international education: A historical survey 1893–1944. Journal of Research in International Education, 1(1), 90–125. https://doi.org/10.1177/147524090211005
  43. Trentelman, C. (2009). Place Attachment and Community Attachment: A Primer Grounded in the Lived Experience of a Community Sociologist. Society and Natural Resources, 22(3), 191–210. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920802191712
  44. Tulving, E. (1985). Memory and consciousness. Canadian Psychology, 26(1), 1–12.
  45. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0080017
  46. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). International Migration Report 2017: Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/404). https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/international-migration-report-2017.html
  47. Useem, R. H. (1999, April 11). Third Culture Kids: Focus of Major Study -- TCK “mother” pens history of field. TCK World: The Official Home of Third Culture Kids. http://www.tckworld.com/useem/art1.html
  48. Williams, D.R., & Roggenbuck, J.W. (1989). Measuring place attachment: Some preliminary results. In Abstracts of the 1989 Symp. on Leisure Research, National Recreation and Park Assoc., Alexandria, VA.

How to Cite

Lev, D. (2020). Community and Sense of Place in an International School Context. Studia Doctoralia, 11(2), 121–131. https://doi.org/10.47040/sd/sdpsych.v11i2.117