Journal Article

Constructing international schools as postcolonial sites


This paper explores the discursive construction of race in Malaysian international schools and its relationship with postcolonialism. In response to the expansion of international schooling, it analyses data from a study of international school leadership in Malaysia, a former colony, through a postcolonial lens. It draws on face-to-face interviews with twelve international school leaders, and discourse analysis of sample websites from Malaysian international schools. Malaysia is an ethnocracy, with three distinct racial groups, and ethnicity affects many aspects of life, including education, and it is suggested that international schools offer no exception to this. The data indicate four emergent themes, these being constructions of: school identity; educational expertise; leadership; and Malaysia itself. The authors posit that international schools in Malaysia operate as postcolonial sites. Despite the origins of international schools lying within a movement committed to equality, these institutions are implicated in the construction and replication of racial divisions.

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Gibson, Mark T.
Bailey, Lucy

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Education


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-03-14

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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