Facts, Not Fiction, a report released Monday by New York University, the College Board and a panel of educators and leaders, indicated that, by grouping diverse communities and experiences into one “Asian-American and Pacific Islander” group, some young people’s needs are likely going unnoticed.
The category “Asian-American” can be used for disparate groups – people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent, but also those whose families originate in India, Pakistan, Samoa, the Phillipines and Cambodia. The economic and educational background of these groups can vary widely, as do individuals within each group. By adopting the “model minority” stereotype of Asian-American students, schools may be neglecting individual needs. The report further argues that the stereotype positions Asian-American communities against other minority communities, creating the perception that one group is a “solution” and other groups a “problem”.
It’s all very interesting. And the report points to how our focus on groups more than individuals, as well as our culture’s reliance on stereotypes, can often hinder young people’s opportunities, even when the stereotypical expectations seem to be positive.
Read the report or a great overview at the NYTimes for more information.
To find out more about Asian-American stereotypes in education, visit this article at Eric Digest.
Wikipedia also provides some interesting overviews of the roots, articulation and impact of a variety of Asian-American stereotypes.