Ever wonder about the negative implications of considering some students “model minorities?” Or the different teaching strategies required for Fluent-English Proficient and Limited English-Proficient students? The Asian American Educational Experience: A Source Book for Teachers and Students answers these and other important questions by bringing together some of the finest writers and articles addressing the educational needs of Asian Americans. Edited by Don T. Nakanishi and Tina Yamano Nishida (Routledge: New York and London, 1995), the book’s previously published articles remain relevant and full of insights for teachers, administrators, and anyone else interested in this diverse and rapidly-growing community.
The historical treatment of Asian Americans in American schools and the widespread but negative “model minority myth” are addressed in the first two sections of this book. Elementary, secondary, and higher education issues such as bilingual education, student admissions, and faculty tenure then are addressed through research studies and commentaries. In short, every educator should have a copy of this book, and should use its extensive annotated bibliography as a starting place for further research on the needs and concerns of Asian American students in the local community.
The following are some of the 209, resources listed in the bibliography that I found the most useful.
Lai, Him Mark, bibliographer, edited by Jean Pang Yip and Russell Leong. A History Reclaimed: An Annotated Bibliography of Chinese Language Materials on the Chinese of America, Los Angeles: Asian American Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1986. Annotations from over 1500 works (including archival collections) classified under selected categories. The core of the bibliography focuses on the Chinese in the United States; however, it also includes works on the overseas Chinese.
Wang, Ling-Chi. “Lauv. Nichols: History of a Struggle for Equal and Quality Education,” in Counterpoint by Emma Gee, et al. (eds.) Los Angeles: Regents of the University of California and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (1976): 240-59.
Provides a brief historical overview of the issues leading to the Supreme Court victory and the important contributions toward recognizing the rights of non-English-speaking Americans. Includes insight to the struggle of the Chinese American students and their parents in San Francisco, and the importance of fighting for equal and quality education.
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND THE MODEL MINORITY DEBATE
Hurh, Won Moo, and Kwang Chung Kim. “The ‘Success’ Image of Asian Americans: Its Validity and Its Practical and Theoretical Implications,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 12:4 (October 1989): 512-38. Presents historical data to analyze the success stereotype of Asian Americans. Examines how the model minority image affects Asian Americans, other minorities, and majority Americans. Practical and theoretical implications are provided.
Suzuki, Bob H. “Asian Americans as the ‘Model Minority’: Outdoing Whites? Or Media Hype?” Change (November/December 1989): 12-19. Addresses when and why the image evolved. Discusses the consequences of its acceptance by the general public, and focuses particularly on how the label has affected Asians in higher education. Concludes Asian Americans have suffered significantly from this stereotype.
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY ISSUES
Blakely, Mary Margaret. “Southeast Asian Refugee Parents: An Inquiry into Home-School Communication and Understanding.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 14:1 (Spring 1983): 43-68. An evaluative report of an ethnographic study of Southeast Asian refugee families’ adjustment to American schools. Looks at their educational needs, parent-school-relatedness, and involvement in bilingualism.
Cheng, Li-Rong L. “Service Delivery to Asian/Pacific LEP Children: A Cross Cultural Framework.” Topics in Language Disorders 9:3 (June 1989): 1-14. Assesses language implications from an Asian/Pacific perspective on communication and intervention with LEP children. Provides general information on the history, cultures, and languages of immigrant and refugee groups.
Cheung, King Kok. “Drawing Out the Silent Minority.” College Composition and Communication 35 (December 1984): 452-54. Provides insight on how to encourage participation among Asian-American students. Advises instructors to be patient with students who have heavy accents, provide positive reinforcement, call on quiet students without forcing them to speak, and to help students articulate their ideas.
Chin, Carol. “Asian Americans and California State Textbooks.” Social Studies Review 23:3 (Spring 1984): 46-48. An evaluation of the social studies textbooks used in the State of California shows that the books fail to include the Asian American experience, past or present.
Hirano-Nakanishi, Marsha, and Elizabeth Osthimer. The Right of Language Minority Students to a Fair Shotata High School Diploma: A Legal Analysis (NCBR Report). Los Alamitos, California: National Center for Bilingual Research Communication/Dissemination Office, 1983.
Kiang, Peter N., and Vivian Wai-Fun Lee. “Exclusion or Contribution? Education K12 Policy.” In LEAP Asian/ Pacific American Public Policy Institute and UCLA Asian American Studies Center. The State of Asian/Pacific America A Public Policy Report: Policy Issues to the Year 2020 (pp. 25-48). Los Angeles: LEAP and UCLA AASC, 1993. Discusses demographic changes into the twenty-first century. Focuses on specific educational policy areas such as curriculum transformation, improving school climate, teacher training and recruitment, language and culture shift issues, support services, parent empowerment, and serving Asian/Pacific American students.
Lee, Esther-Yao. “Working Effectively with Asian Immigrant Parents.” Phi Delta-Kappan 70:3 (November 1988): 223-25. Asian Americans defy stereotypes. Recommends educators to reexamine their personal feelings, prejudices, and expectations concerning immigrant parents.
Lewis, Judy, Lue Vang, and Li-Rong Lilly Cheng. “Identifying the Language-Learning Difficulties of Hmong Students: Implications of Context and Culture.” Topics in Language Disorders 9:3 (1989): 21-37. Examines language assessment and intervention with LEP Hmong children: a case study of a hearing-impaired Hmong boy and the process involved in identifying his disabilities.
Nakanishi, Don T., and Hirano-Nakanishi, Marsha, eds. The Education of Asian and Pacific Americans: Historical Perspectives and Prescriptions for the Future. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1983. Includes articles by Bob Suzuki, Florence Yoshiwara, Kenyon S. Chan and Sau-Lim Tsang, Bok-Lim C. Kim, Federico M. Macaranas, Vuong G. Thuy, and Bella Zi Bell. Addresses various issues such as the education of Asian and Pacific Americans, the future of Korean-American children, the socioeconomic issues that affect the education of Filipino Americans, as well as myths concerning Japanese Americans.
Takaki, Ronald. “The Myth of Ethnicity: Scholarship of the Anti-Affirmative Action Back Lash.” Journal of Ethnic Studies 10:1 (Spring 1982): 17-42. School personnel need sensitivity training to cope with the influx of Hispanic and Asian students in the public schools.
Yao, E. L., and C. C. Hwang. “Teaching English to Asian Immigrant Children.” Educational Horizons 66 (Fall 1987): 43-45. Examines problems encountered by Asian immigrant children and verifies the need for teachers to become sensitive to the underlying reasons for student errors.
Yoon, Keumsil-Kim, and Gladys Nussenbaum. “Assessment of Linguistic Needs of Korean American Students in Northern New Jersey: Implications for Future Directions,” NABE, The Journal for the National Association for Bilingual Education. 12 (Fall 1987): 51-63. Suggests an Asian Resource Center to cope with the cost-effective means of meeting Korean American children’s language proficiency in both English and Korean. Addresses the need to educate Korean-American parents about the school system.
HIGHER EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
Loo, Chalsa, M., and Garry Rolison. “Alienation of Ethnic Minority Students at a Predominantly White University.” Journal of Higher Education 57:1 (January/February 1986): 58-77. Addresses the issue of alienation among minority students in an undergraduate college and identifies the factors that may reduce the ethnic “clustering.”
Pang, Valerie Ooka. “About Teachers and Teaching; Ethnic Prejudice: Still Alive and Hurtful.” Harvard Educational Review 58 (August 1988): 373-79. Naive beliefs and inaccurate information about the homogeneity of Asian Americans have obstructed a change in curriculum, counseling, and instructional strategies toward Asian-American students.
Takagi, Dana Y. The Retreat from Race: Asian American Admissions and Racial Politics. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992. Maintains that changes in affirmative action grew out of discourses on racial minorities in higher education. Argues that the shift in the organizing principle of affirmative action should be viewed as evidence of a profound crisis in how educational policymakers battle with racial differences in academic achievement.