The arena of education known as 'international schooling' has grown enormously, from a body of 2,500 schools in 2000 to almost 13,500 by 2022. By 2019, China had emerged as having the most schools delivering a non-national curriculum in English outside of an English-speaking nation. The arena continues to be dominated by British and North American educators. One enduring aspect of workplace reality is the short-term contract, normally of between two and three years. The field is acknowledged to be inherently precarious and insecure, with high levels of turnover, and a bleak 'negative' lens of imagination has always persisted. This paper focuses attention on the lived experiences of expatriate teachers among the growing body of 'non-traditional international schools' that might be best termed 'Chinese Internationalised Schools'. Through in-depth phenomenological interviewing of six expatriate teachers, the reality of 'short-termism' was examined. Whilst the findings highlighted, as expected, the negative aspects of short-term employment, the findings also identify many positive outcomes. These include opportunities for developing resilience, agency, and reinvention. This offers scope for a new vision, based upon the accumulation of 'resilience', which helps to explain the continuous growth of the arena despite the presence of precarity. Copyright © 2023 ADAM POOLE PING AND TRISTAN BUNNELL.
CitationPoole, A., & Bunnell, T. (2023). ‘I’ve become a lot tougher’: Expatriate teachers’ experiences of precarity and resilience in non-traditional international schools in China. Beijing International Review of Education, 4(4), 590-609. https://doi.org/10.1163/25902539-04040006
- International schools
- International school teachers
- Short-term contracts