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Friday, April 18, 2008

Why do many Chinese do so well in School in the US?

There is an old Doonesbury Cartoon when Kim was in High School. Kim is an orphan from Vietnam, and adopted by two Jewish parents. This other student is asking her why do Asian's do so well. Her first answer is lots of studying and do the homework. The other kid does not accept this. Then Kim answers she's secretly an Alien and the kid accepts that answer.

My 2 cents on why many Chinese Students do so well in the US:

1. High expectations in school work
2. Working with the kids on Home Work. Every night my wife works with my daughter on her Algebra 2 work.
3. Setting a career path at an early age (you will be a DR., you will be a Lawyer, etc.). Per a Harvard Business School study graduates that had written goals/plan made a lot more than those who did not.
4. Pressure to perform. B's are not acceptable.
5. Putting a premium on education. Examples of this is the huge amount of tutoring that Chinese parents will send their kids to. From reading at a young age to SAT preparation. There are so many of these after school tutoring where i live.
6. High expectations of going to a great college. Chinese American Education Expectations
7. Community expectations (my son is a law student at UCLA).
8. The amazing amounts that parents will spend on their kids education (My daughter now has a Grand Piano, that's a great example of this). My daughter is also going to Piano, Cello, and Voice lessons. Another example is how the best school districts in Southern California have huge Chinese populations. Why, because they are willing to pay the money for houses in good districts. Examples are San Marino, Arcadia, Walnut, and Diamond Bar. My daughter goes to school in Diamond Bar.
9. Proof of this working - high acceptance rates at University of California Berkeley for example. Chinese Asian Representation in Colleges
10. Focus on academics verses sports for status.

I have seen an article that lays out some of these ideas, but I can't find it right now.

Another example is one of my daughter's friends. Only spoke Chinese at home. Now in 9th grade is one of the top students in English.

An article on my site that summarizes the above with more information: Chinese Students - What can be Learned from them for Getting Good Grades? in my new section: School Tips & Education Articles




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