Transitions & the Hidden Curriculum – SPAN Symposium

How does mobility and structural racism intersect in international schools and affect students?

This is the e-handout for the online presentation for the SPAN Symposium held on 5-6 March 2022. It includes a list of resources mentioned in the presentation and additional resources.

Image of an iceberg. The tip is above the water surface but most of it is submerged. The tip is labeled 'International mindedness' and the submerged portion is labeled 'hidden curriculum'
The Hidden Curriculum. Adapted from graphics designed by Mifune Takashi at Graphics copyright: Mifune Takashi.

Core topics

  • How does the hidden curriculum of structural racism show up in international schools?
  • What happens when a child’s identity mirrors are distorted?
  • What does internalized racism look like for international school students?
  • How do the hidden narratives told by school staff impact students?
  • How does transition issues related to mobility intersect with issues of structural racism?

Main text

Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International SchoolDanau Tanu, 2018. 

Resources mentioned in the presentation (in order of appearance)

Safe Passage: How mobility affects people & what international schools should do about it. Doug Ota, 2014.

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, 3rd Edition. David Pollock, Dr. Ruth E. Van Reken and Michael Pollock, 2017.

Children At Promise: 9 principles to help kids thrive in an at risk world. By Dr. Tim Stuart, 2003.

‘Third Culture Kids: The Return Home’ by Tim Brantingham in Sandwich Parenting.

Additional resources

TCKs of Asia live forums & Third Culture Stories podcast. Highly recommended for those who want to better understand the experiences of Asian third culture kids. Topics covered:

TCKs of Asia w team profile pics

If your children are living away from the family with guardians or in a dorm, see also: Third Culture Kids & Parachute Kids – Building Their Resilience with experts Dr. Tim Stuart and Dr. Jang Eun Cho. Co-hosted by Dr. Danau Tanu & Sundae Bean.

Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century. Tanya Crossman, 2016. See also

For more resources, see here.