I started my research journey in wanting to shape the education system to allow it to become a more positive learning environment for third culture kids. I had concluded that the education system often becomes a last hope for third culture kids to gain a sense of belonging and I was motivated to find the solution to shape the ‘nieuwkomersgroep’. My research allowed me to understand that a cultural frame of reference, parents and sports/activities are the three main factors which schools can implement to allow children to feel belonging. By researching different approaches and best practices I came to the realization that there is already a solution to the complex problem; the international schooling system. This includes all the factors I have researched and is proven to be the most suitable learning environment for this target group.
A new problem had arisen, because not all children have the opportunity to pay for international schooling. My research carried on in understanding why the international schooling system is so expensive. International schools often have huge facilities allowing children to follow their passions and feel belonging within a group. Due to their facilities they are able to offer a wide range of after school activities including sports, arts and drama. Next to this, the international schooling system spends a lot of money on teachers who have had the right international training to provide the best holistic education possible. All these factors contribute to allowing children to feel safe and a sense of belonging within school.
The problem becomes even more complex than I ever could imagine and draws back to the race of life. In society, we do not have the same opportunities and it is a fact that some children will have a head start in becoming successful. Third culture kids who are able to go to an international school will develop educationally a lot further than children who need to go to a ‘nieuwkomersgroep’ because they cannot afford to go to the international schooling system. ‘Nieuwkomersgroepen’ are funded by the government and therefore do not get enough funding to allow the same type of curriculum and knowledge which the international education has.
Understanding that the problem lies much deeper than the education system I came to the insight that I can only add to the ‘nieuwkomersgroep’ curriculum rather than shape it. As mentioned, in order to create a positive learning environment there are three factors that are key to make this successful. I have implemented these three factors in my design method which I believe educational systems can implement to create an improved learning environment and to make their school more international.
Reflecting on myself and my own process, I believe it was a parallel process as I found my own belonging within this subject. In embarking on my journey within Performatory I always felt a little different due that I never had a topic I was really excited about. Most students were very enthusiastic about the environment, global warming or other problems within society and I didn’t have that one topic that really motivated me to dig deeper.
Learning about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, I can see how I have transformed myself as third culture kids and belonging has been a topic I am very excited about and links to myself as an individual and therefore I was intrinsically motivated to learn more and dive into different topics within this subject. I have found my own belonging within this process and have been able to broaden my own experiences and perspectives.
Becoming an expert within this research topic and gaining insight within the developments and possibilities of the educational curriculum, I want to continue my journey by answering the remaining questions which have arisen throughout my research. I have registered for the Master: Education and Childhood studies. I hope by embarking on this new journey I will be able to gain greater knowledge to shape the traditional education curriculum to a more suitable environment for third culture kids.