EARCOS Internationalizing the Curriculum Project


July 1991 – June 1992

Coordination and participants

The project was coordinated by Taipei American School, Taiwan with teachers participating from eight other international schools in Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.


  • to expand the global perspectives and intercultural competencies of students by providing them with a more inclusive international K-12 curriculum;
  • to increase the exposure of non-host country teachers in international schools to multicultural and intercultural education by providing training and resources;
  • to develop cross-cultural curricula by establishing a network to share methods and materials.

Project ideas and assumptions

  • the most important step in developing an international curriculum is raising teacher awareness of the need for it;
  • opportunities need to be created for teachers to discuss cross-cultural ideas and concerns in an open and trusting environment;
  • unless teachers look anew at how they were schooled to deal with diversity, they will be unable to create school cultures which equip students to do so;
  • intellectual and personal teacher development is needed to enable teachers and students to develop self-esteem and respect for other cultures;
  • teachers are the authority on their own experience and need to be at the centre of growth and development;
  • without systemic understanding of race, class and gender relations, teachers who try to transform the curriculum will lack creative flexibility and coherence when dealing with multi-cultural issues.

Training approach

  • a 1 week leadership workshop (July 1991 in California, U.S.A.) to prepare teachers to hold year-long monthly study circles/seminars with other teachers to create a more multicultural and gender fair curriculum;
  • the themes, approaches and materials were selected according to the specific needs and interests of each school’s population with cross grade and discipline application.


Through the EARCOS Project the nine participating schools established 11 teacher development seminars. The main themes of the seminars were:

  • Focus on host country and region
  • Cultural backgrounds of students
  • Multicultural readings
  • Theoretical frameworks for curricular revision
  • Methods to connect theory and personal practice

Each school contributed towards the production of a manual on Internationalising the Curriculum distributed to international schools.

My role

I was a participant in the California workshop and subsequent seminar leader in International School of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, Japan and contributor to the Internationalising the Curriculum publication.