Breaking Down the Asian Stereotype

By Kevin Bushweller — February 16, 2007 1 min read
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The stereotype of the highly motivated, high-achieving Asian student is hard not to buy into because Asian-Americans, as a group, outperfrom all other minorities in virtually all categories, and they beat white students on most measures too.

But Education Week reporter Lesli Maxwell’s story this week, “The ‘Other’ Gap,” points out that the picture of this group of students is much more nuanced than most people would expect. There are some important lessons to be learned--about culture, teenagers, schools, and motivation--from reading this story. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

“But what about closing the “top gap,” between the most outstanding Asian-American students and their white classmates? Why aren’t educators and policymakers talking about low-achieving Asian-American students, who they are, and what should be done to help them catch up? And what effect does the widely held assumption that all Asian-Americans do well in school regardless of social class or ethnic background—the “model minority” stereotype—have on students across the achievement spectrum?”

Any thoughts, insights?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.