Friday, September 20, 2013

Stop It, You Are Pushing Me!

I have heard it before, and I am sure I will hear it again- You are pushing me too hard in my learning. Really? Is there truly such a thing? These students are exceptionally bright and I love having them in class, but I don't want to crush them or make them cry. But let's look at some stereotypes and facts. First, everyone believes that Asian students are the brightest in our society. While Asian Americans make up only 4% of the U.S. population, Asian-American students make up a much higher percentage of student bodies in top universities around the country. The percentages are astounding: 24% at Stanford, 18% at Harvard, and 25% at both Columbia and Cornell. More Asian Americans over the age of 25 have bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees than any other race or ethnic group. And after outperforming their colleagues in school, Asian Americans also bring home higher incomes than their non-Asian counterparts - almost $10,000 more annually than the rest of the population (2002 statistics). What does this mean then? Well, it does not mean that they are intellectually brighter, but it has more to do with how expectations at home. I found some information from Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers - and How You Can Too was the result of these efforts-- 17 practices that are common throughout many Asian households. The most important thing is for parents to clearly define their child's role as a student. Just like society has different roles, so do students. We, parents and teachers, need to tell our students what their role is in our classroom with their learning. I will say a major difference between Asian and American households are American children are dividing their time between a thousand different extracurricular activities in addition to household chores, Asian students are concentrating more on their schoolwork. Lastly, I found in some reading from Dr. Soo Kim Abboud, that Asian parents also tell their children that learning is fun and rewarding, along with having high esteem for educators. This is not always the case in America. Maybe if some of our values changed so would the complaints about being pushed in one's learning. 

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