Ever heard of ‘parachute kids’? Roughly defined, they are children who get dropped off in a foreign country—or parachuted in, so to speak—to further their education. The kids are usually middle school or high school aged but sometimes younger. Meanwhile, their parents fly back and stay in their home country.
So what does this have to do with Third Culture Kids?
To find out, join us at the special event hosted by the Families in Global Transition!
And we’ll be talking to two experts with fascinating backgrounds themselves:
Dr. Jang Eun Cho is a former parachute kid and one of the few specialists in cross-cultural child and adolescent psychiatry in the United States. She initially had studied to be a surgeon and had already completed half her residency when she made a u-turn and became a psychiatrist.
Jang now runs Cultivate Psychiatry and is the Director of the Consortium at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated MGH Center for Cross Cultural Student Emotional Wellness.
Dr. Timothy Stuart is an adult TCK who is also mixed race. His father is Native American and his mother is Anglo American but he grew up in France and Germany as well as the United States.
Tim did his doctoral research on resilience and trauma at a First Nation reservation school and is now the Head of School at the International Community School of Addis Ababa. He also wrote the book, Children At Promise (you can find it here).
Jasmine Cochran who was interviewed by the BBC in the wake of the George Floyd’s death as the news and protests began affecting students in her international school classroom. She was interviewed by Sundae Bean of the Expat Happy Hour.
Dominique Blue who is an international educator and part of the AIELOC Advisory Council. She is an advocate of diversity and has been a great supporter of TCKs of Asia and the research that I do.
Daniel Wickner who is an international educator and has been advocating for the importance of affirming students’ identities within the classroom.
To register or for more details, visit the AIELOC website. Scroll down to find the speaker bios, schedule/agenda, and session descriptions for each day.
Why are all the local kids sitting together in the cafeteria?
Saturday, November 14. 9:30AM New York (EST) / 3:30PM Berlin / 10:30PM Singapore & Perth.
In 1997, Beverly Tatum wrote that, upon seeing a group of Black students on an American campus, “The question on the tip of everyone’s tongue is ‘Why are the Black kids sitting together?’ Principals want to know, teachers want to know, White students want to know, the Black students who aren’t sitting at the table want to know.” The same was true at the international school where Danau Tanu conducted her doctoral research, except the main concern was the “local kids” of the host country and the “Korean kids.” These students were seen as “self-segregating” and “not international.” But were they really?
In this session, Danau will demonstrate how the biases and prejudices held by the administrators and educators at the international school contributed to the issue of “self segregation” on their campus. The mostly white, Anglophone teachers acted as gatekeepers for the dominant culture of the school and determined who was considered “international” and who was accused of “self-segregating.” The expectation they placed on students to assimilate into the dominant school culture acted as a crucial push factor that caused students to retreat into their language groups. Danau will also show that the high student turnover rate at schools catering to internationally mobile children can further exacerbate the formation of cliques based on race or language for students who do not fit in with the dominant school culture.
Danau’s research data is based on a yearlong participant observation conducted at an international school and over 130 in-depth, ethnographic interviews with high school students, their parents, alumni and teacher.