The Hidden Curriculum of International Schools

with Danau Tanu, Ph.D.


DATE: Saturday, September 25, 2021

TIME: 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM HKT (90 minutes)

FORMAT: Zoom Meeting (Zoom link will be sent 2 days before the event.)

Fee: Free for EARCOS Members

$100 for Non-Members. Please contact to be placed onto the Guest Waitlist.


As a result of rapid changes in student demographics, many international schools are faced with visibly entrenched student cliques based on nationality (or language), which may appear to undermine the school’s mission to nurture ‘international-mindedness’ and parents’ desire for their children to learn English and become ‘international’.

What is less visible is the way the dominant culture of the school’s educators, leadership and (hidden) curriculum actively promotes the formation of these student cliques as a result of its racial biases. To dismantle structural racism, we need to first understand how students internalize the hidden curriculum and how educators unwittingly contribute to it on our campuses.

Learn from the world’s first study of structural racism in international schools. This session draws on data collected through one-year of participant observation and over 130 in-depth interviews with students, alumni, educators and parents at an international school in East Asia and published in Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School.

We will cover:

  • Internalized racism of students & alumni

  • Hidden curriculum of international schools

  • Student coping mechanisms (in response to structural racism/the hidden curriculum)

  • Impact of parents’ expectations for English and home language education

About DAnau Tanu

Danau Tanu holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and sociology from the University of Western Australia and is the author of Growing Up in Transit: The Politics of Belonging at an International School. As a child, she moved around with her mixed heritage family, speaking Indonesian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin) at home and English at international schools. Next year, she will join Waseda University as Visiting Research Fellow to study Japan’s global youth. Danau volunteers as Co-Chair of the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) Research Network and Co-Founder of TCKs of Asia. List of publications:


Now out in Paperback!

GROWING UP IN TRANSIT: The Politics of Belonging at an International School is the first and only book that addresses structural racism within international schools.

The number of international schools that claim to promote ‘global citizenship‘ has grown rapidly over the last few decades, shaping the identities and worldview of millions of young minds. Yet, the ideology of being ‘international’ that is at the heart of the ethos of these schools is Western centric.

For more information visit


Zoom link will be sent 2 days before the event.