Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Why Asians fill selective schools

When I studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School in the '70s, I was about the most Asian person in the school until a Wong joined the school in my year 11. Now the school is about 97% Asian (Chinese, Vietnamese being the main groups represented.

So I was interested in this article which suggests that

One day we'll probably find less of a correlation between race and academic performance, because the disparity is merely reflective of a cultural discipline associated with the specific circumstances of immigration.


He's really saying that kids from migrant families work hard because their parents and they feel such gratitude for the opportunities they now have, and want to take advantage of them to the full.

4 comments:

The Shtes! said...

As the child of Asian immigrant parents (who didn't attend a selective school, but did attend a leading state school in Brisbane) that another reason kids from migrant families (particularly Asian) attend these schools tends to be from a very strong push to perform well academically by their parents.

Whether strong academic performance is rooted in gratitude or something else remains to be tested. I know for my part (and for most of my accompanying Asian friends during High School) performance was driving a lot by parental pressures!

I currently disciple someone (Asian) who went to the high school you mention and boy that's interesting...

Gordon Cheng said...

Yes, the opinion piece does put the most positive spin possible on what is going on.

Ian said...

I was, and still am, too dumb to go to a Selective School, but growing up in Fairfield I had many friends from SE Asia [as an opposite to you Gordon, I was one of the Anglo minority!]. And yes, parental pressure was huge.

My parents thought I should be outside playing; their parents [generally, for I am sure there were exceptions] thought they should be studying. And, from conversations I had, and have had as an adult, it was to do mainly with the opportunities education here afforded.

TCL said...

You went to JRAHS? Wow.. me too. I think I was the last year that went through there when there was still a majority non-asian students. I heard the year 7 that entered the following year after I graduated year 12, there was not one single non-asian student. (well, there in fact was one lone caucasian, who promptly left when he found out he'd be pretty well ostracised if he stayed - so, all asians in the end).

I never got the impression that the migrant asian families ever pressured their kids because of any gratitude. Many of them were more like slaves to their parents wishes than happy at all. It bred all kinds of unhealthy attitudes among the asian students as well. I could go on at length. Id have to say the students most glad to be there were in fact the non-asians. They at least tended to feel that they were doing well if they came 2nd (or 10th or 50th of even 110th in the grade).....