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Asian American Education and Schooling

Q 1: Discuss how you, as a concerned educator, help Asian American children?

It is universally affirmed that “ethnic identity” is one of the essentials of an ethnic group’s psychological wellbeing. Despite having a significant agreement on the importance of ethnic identity, there is petite agreement on the measurement of ethnic identity. Mostly the size scale of ethnic identity is theoretical and aimed at some specific groups like Mexican- Americans, Cubans, and Chinese Americans. Asian Americans have been linked with healthy intercommunity ties that enable them to embrace their ethnic identity. Phinney (1990) has identified a series of mechanisms that have central importance in the formation of ethnic identity. An educator can bring a great difference in developing a person’s confidence in ethnic identity.

Phinney in 1990s provided a model according to which to every individual pass through three different phases to get the acceptance of self-identity. It is a multi-dimensional model in which these three stages are further classified. According to Phinney in the first stage “unexamined ethnic identity” individual had not explored their personal ethnicity and somehow are not even interested in doing so. At the initial level, some individual may accept the characteristics of the dominant culture. There are innumerable factors that influence the exploration of personal identity at this stage. The second stage is “Ethnic Identity Moratorium”, this stage encounters with an individual when she/he faces any racist or traumatic situation. At this time individual starts getting in touch with the literature related to their cultural values and ethnicity. The person who has undergone racial segregation may also begin streamlining themselves with social aspects of their cultures such as clothing. Now comes the emotionally extreme stage in which individual feels anger, embarrassment, etc. (Lee, 2002). Then comes the final third stage, in which different rectified ethnic identity conflicts and started accepting his/her membership of minority group. Then, individual starts having an optimistic orientation towards dominant cultures. At this moment, the individual becomes calm and confident.

I being an educator feel a primary responsibility to bring everyone in the flow and not to feel segregated. Being an educationist, my aim is “not to save the individual, but rather to offer a support system, role models, and opportunities to learn, which will increase the likelihood of the person’s success”.As an educator, the first thing I ensure is to recognize the potentials that the different racial and ethnic groups of student have and will be willing to assist them in achieving their dreams. Then I encourage my students to come out of their comfort zone and accept multi-cultural education. In my class, I teach some Chinese stories and other nations’ stories. And through those multicultural books and stories, I try to present the positive image of other cultures before American natives. By doing so, I try to make the students of minority culture confident. Another methodology I choose is, to make English words translate into their native languages.  By adopting this method, students from minority cultures take more interest in learning English.  In addition to it, I relate some story from any other culture to those words, so students remember it in a better way and good sense. So I encourage students to accept and embrace their culture. In the end, an exercise I reinforce students to implement on is to make a report of their native cultures and then exchange their reports with other children. By doing so, students more keenly try to learn the norms, values and culture of their ethnicity and by exchanging the material other students get benefitted of that literature. Moreover, they get interested in learning the other culture after knowing about the beauty of other cultures. So by doing all this, I make students accept their ethnic identity. I mainly encourage my students to carry out discussions amongst themselves and to share the information that they have about their culture.

Q 2: Urgent Educational Issues in Asian American Communities: What do you think is the most urgent educational issue on the ethnic group of your interest?

Hmong Americans, have their roots in Southeast Asia, most prominently from Thailand. This ethnic group resided on the mountainous regions of Thailand, China, and Vietnam. They are counted among the most recent immigrant groups of Asians. Earlier, Laos’s war refugees came the United States to get settled. These refugees got passage by the 1975 Act of Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act.  The first group of refugees is said to come from Mekong river of Thailand.

Hmong Americans face some serious educational inequalities because they are “Asians”. 38.5% of Cambodian, 34.3% of Laotian and 39.6% of Hmong adults don’t possess high school diplomas. By looking at Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) under study accomplishment utilizing disaggregated information, a statewide California study discovered noteworthy accomplishment holes between White Americans and their AAPI peers. In perusing, White Americans mostly beat nine AAPI ethnic gatherings counting Vietnamese Americans, Cambodian Americans, and Lao Americans. In math, seven AAPI ethnic congregations scored at substantially bring down levels than White Americans, including Cambodian Americans and Lao Americans. They also face the issue of lesser proficiency in English which affects the academic performance of students. These students have no other option except attending the nearby schools which have fewer resources like bilingual education etc. another major issue they face is having a few or sometimes no any Southeast Asian educator in their schools (Fillmore, 2000). Lack of counselors, having bilingual knowledge is also another major issue which Southeast Asian students face and because of this families and students cannot get connected with school resources. Limited involvement of parents in their children’s education is another major issue; it happens because parents lack the knowledge of navigating school systems because of cultural barriers and have problems in making a bond of relationship with teachers and school administration.

I opine that education inequalities and lack of peer counselors are urgent issues since the numbers of individuals possessing the most basic education diplomas is alarming. In this century, all persons in all countries, let alone the US must have gone through high school education at least. The Hmong lack individuals from the ethnic group that can advise the school going children on the importance of schooling.

Some solutions are proposed to curb these problems and bring betterment in lives of Southeast Asian American students. Neighborhood school sheets can embrace new information reporting and accumulation arrangements that require disaggregated information. School sheets can repeat methods of school locale that as of now gather and report out on disaggregated information. For instance, Seattle Public Schools as of now collects and reports information on the accompanying Asian American subgroups: Asian, East Indian,  Cambodian, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Other Southeast Asian, and Other Asian.Schools can create associations with group-based organizations (CBOs) for in-school and out-of-school services. As direct service suppliers, CBOs have trusted connections with settler and exile groups. Schools can influence the bilingual and bicultural abilities of CBO staff. Schools can get preparing from CBOs on the best way to work with Southeast Asian American understudies. Legislation should increase access to higher education, for instance, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minor Acts (DREAM Act), and the preservation of need-based resources like “Pell Grant Program” should also be allowed to all students. This will encourage them to participate in the development of American society to their fullest. Federal investment should be increased for the support of Asian-American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program. It offers to fund for strengthening the higher education institutions for developing programs that further helps the people earning allow income.

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