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PHD - Doctor of Philosophy




This research examines dynamics and challenges of relationships between international schools (IS) and host country cultures as perceived by educators. Cultural impacts that influence the capacity of educators to manage, lead, and navigate IS are investigated. A sample of 133 educators (administrators and teachers) employed in IS responded to the survey and 13 of those participants were interviewed using a Mixed Method Sequential Explanatory Design (Creswell, 2009). IS promote international-mindedness where adverse contact zones are minimized by providing opportunities for students of different races, genders, and nationalities to integrate and work together. Although IS provide a strong basis for cultural diversity and tolerance, this study found that lower socioeconomic status children were not included within the international-mindedness spectrum as many poorer students do not attend IS. Attending IS provide a competitive pathway for students to attend universities overseas. Gender inequality related to access to and quality of education was not a factor at IS. This research also found that teachers generally do not adapt to teaching styles of the host country culture and therefore employ a student-centered learning model engaging students from multiple countries. Further, the status of the diplomatic relationship between nations, rather than cultural differences between two countries strongly influenced the ability of an IS to obtain work visas for potential employees. This research is significant because it provides implications for practitioners and illuminates models used by IS to successfully integrate cultures, races, and religions, as well as explore areas needed for further study. Keywords: International schools, American international schools, international-mindedness, global mindedness, socioeconomic status, gender, race, religion, culture, diversity, social justice, diplomatic relationships, universities, curriculum, teaching styles, parental expectations, NEASC, ELL, English Language Learners, professional development, ethical international-mindedness, international elite-mindedness, economic



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