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Achievement gaps: Revenge of the tiger mother
May 5th 2014 | | The Economist |

Yet despite this pushback, the Asian-American achievement advantage is well documented, and Amy Hsin and Yu Xie, sociologists at City University of New York and the University of Michigan, wanted to try to find out why it exists. In a new paper in the journal PNAS, they looked at whether it could be explained by socio-demographic factors (such as family income and parental education), cognitive ability (were these children simply more intelligent?), or work ethic.

Although Asian Americans do often come from better educated and higher income families, socio-demographic factors could not explain the achievement gap between Asians and whites. This is because recently arrived Asian immigrants with little formal education and low incomes have children that do better in school than their white peers. Asian-Americans actually fall into four distinct categories in America. East and South-Asian children tend to be socio-economically privileged, whereas South-East Asian and Filipino children tend to be disadvantaged.

Being brainier isn't the answer either. When the pair looked at cognitive ability as measured by standardised tests, Asian-Americans were not different from their white peers. Instead Dr Hsin and Dr Xie find that the achievement gap can be explained through harder work—as measured by teacher assessments of student work habits and motivation. (Although the authors warn that this form of assessment will capture both true behavioural differences as well as a teacher’s perception of differences.)

What might explain harder work? The authors point to the fact Asian-Americans are likely to be immigrants or children of immigrants who, as a group, tend to be more optimistic. These are people who have made a big move in search of better opportunities. Immigration is a "manifestation of that optimism through effort, that you can have a better life". Added to this mix is a general cultural belief among Asian-Americans that achievement comes with effort. We know that children who believe ability is innate are more inclined to give up if something doesn't come naturally. An understanding that success requires hard work—not merely an aptitude—is therefore useful. This finding is worth bearing in mind when considering the current fuss over new tests in mathematics, as some parents complain that they are now too hard.
achievement_gaps  students  Amy_Chua  immigrants  Tiger_Moms  parenting  ethnic_communities  grit  Asian-Americans  hard_work 
may 2014 by jerryking
James Bernard Murphy: In Defense of Being a Kid -
* FEBRUARY 9, 2011 In Defense of Being a Kid
Childhood takes up a quarter of one’s life, and it would be nice if children enjoyed it.By JAMES BERNARD MURPHY
Amy_Chua  children  parenting  relationships  Tiger_Moms 
february 2011 by jerryking
Larry Summers Says "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua May Be Wrong - Davos Live - WSJ
January 27, 2011 By Jon Hilsenrath

His own children would be shocked to hear it, Mr. Summers said, but maybe Ms. Chua is wrong.

“In a world where things that require discipline and steadiness can be done increasingly by computers, is the traditional educational emphasis on discipline, accuracy and successful performance and regularity really what we want?” he asked. Creativity, he said, might be an even more valuable asset that educators and parents should emphasize. At Harvard, he quipped, the A students tend to become professors and the C students become wealthy donors.

“It is not entirely clear that your veneration of traditional academic achievement is exactly well placed,” he said to Ms. Chua. “Which two freshmen at Harvard have arguably been most transformative of the world in the last 25 years?” he asked. “You can make a reasonable case for Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, neither of whom graduated.” Demanding tiger moms, he said, might not be very supportive of their kids dropping out of school.
Amy_Chua  billgates  WEF_Davos  education  Harvard  Larry_Summers  Mark_Zuckerberg  parenting  Tiger_Moms  commoditization_of_information  creativity  academic_achievement 
january 2011 by jerryking
Parenting to Win
January 20, 2011 | The Root | By: Michel Martin. Black people
should still buy this book and study it for its underlying message,
which is this: There are no shortcuts to achievement -- and no racial
secrets -- only strategies. No excuses, no shortcuts -- figure out
winning strategies and follow through. Earlier generations of black
people knew these strategies well and talked about them often, but
today's popular culture no longer seems to celebrate these simple
no_excuses  parenting  African-Americans  Amy_Chua  movingonup  shortcuts  anti-intellectualism  discipline  Tiger_Moms 
january 2011 by jerryking
Amy Chua Is a Wimp -
Jan 17, 2011 | NYT| DAVID BROOKS. ... Practicing music for 4
hrs. requires focus, but it’s not as cognitively demanding as a
sleepover with 14-yr-old girls....Participating in a well-functioning
group is really hard. It requires the ability to trust people outside
your kinship circle, read intonations & moods (i.e. cues & prompts), understand how the
psychological pieces each person brings to the room can & can`t fit
together.This skill set is not taught formally, but it is imparted
through arduous experiences....Chua would do better to see the classroom
as a cognitive break from the truly arduous tests of childhood. Where
do they learn how to manage people? Where do they learn to construct and
manipulate metaphors? Where do they learn to perceive details of a
scene the way a hunter reads a landscape? Where do they learn how to
detect their own shortcomings? Where do they learn how to put themselves
in others’ minds & anticipate others’ reactions?
Amy_Chua  parenting  cues  prompts  nonverbal  David_Brooks  Tiger_Moms  arduous  empathy  emotional_intelligence  EQ  self-awareness  self-reflective  metaphors  people_skills  self-regulation  girls  hunting  tacit_knowledge 
january 2011 by jerryking

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