Moving From Bicultural Acculturation to Transcultural Acculturation

Transcultural Acculturation – the process through which TCKs accept and honor that the intersection of cultural identities within them creates complex and unique individuals. Photo by Pixabay on

“You turned Asian before my very eyes,” a colleague told me after a potentially explosive parent-teacher conference with a Middle Eastern, immigrant family.

My colleagues had been worried the parent was stressing her child with unreasonable demands; the parent was worried the school was denying her child a competitive education. Deep down, I sided with the parent. How many times had I, a second-generation American parent of Indian descent, demanded more rigorous work for my child? How many times had teachers thought I pushed my child too hard? To push my daughter to her greatest potential while also holding her hand is my idea of good parenting. It’s how I was raised. But as a Third Culture Kid (TCK), defined by the late sociologist Ruth Hill Useem as someone raised in a culture other than that of their caregivers, I had grown up in the American education system. Therefore, I could translate between the cultures and keep the conflict at bay.

This is the beginning of an article that I have written about a term I have coined, transcultural acculturation, and has been published on Learning for Justice’s website. This week, I’d like to encourage you to read the article on the original site: There are numerous teaching tips for everyone who works with Third Culture Kids. Let me know what y’all think.


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