Posted by: grokscience | June 11, 2014

Crouching Tiger

droppedImageWhy do Asian American youths excel academically? On this episode, Amy Hsin discusses the factors that underlie the academic success of certain ethnicities.

Where is the dragon? 😉




  1. This is anecdotal, but I wonder how many Asian kids are like me.

    When I first came to US, I didn’t even know the alphabet, but my math was 3 grade levels above what the US schools were teaching. Naturally, I excelled in math even though I enjoyed reading and writing more when I was in my native country. Among my peer, we didn’t study much for math, and that freed up time to study other things and also goof off.

    I am only aware of one among my peers who was pushed by his parents as described in Amy Chua’s book (I read the book); he was a good student, but not much more so than the rest of us who regularly goofed off. Most of our parents didn’t know anything about US education system; they were too busy with work to make ends meet to attend to our education. If there was any community support, they were unawre of it nor would they have had the time to tend to those activities. I have to wonder how many recent Asian immigrants have the time luxury to go out and find community support with their kids’ education. It certainly wasn’t possible for me and most of my peers.

    So from my observation, proficiency in math led to more time to study other subjects which led to better overall grade. Limited English skill reinforced this tendency toward math subjects that are considered hard (Physics, computers, etc). Among my peers, parental meddling and community had very little to do with our academic success. Since math centric majors tend to pay better, fortunate outcome for many of us was high paying careers.

    Finally, a political statement: race based affirmative action in education is criminal racial bigotry, pure and simple. I bring this up, because race based affirmative action to discriminate against Asian students was floated around in California legislature in late 2013 / early 2014, and Asian politicians (including the infamous Leland Yee) initially voted for it. Thankfully, Asian community rose up to defeat this lunacy, but we should keep vigil against this criminal policy from ever resurrecting again.

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