Wednesday, July 27, 2011

From around the interwebs... Asian parenting, education and achievement

Three interesting articles I've chanced across this week...

How to raise a global kid
Taking Tiger Mom tactics to radical new heights, these parents are packing up the family for a total Far East Immersion.

Happy Rogers, age 8, stands among her classmates in the schoolyard at dismissal time, immune, it seems, to the cacophonous din. Her parents and baby sister are waiting outside, but still she lingers, engrossed in conversation. A poised and precocious blonde, Hilton Augusta Parker Rogers, nicknamed Happy, would be at home in the schoolyard of any affluent American suburb or big-city private school. But here, at the elite, bilingual Nanyang Primary School in Singapore, Happy is in the minority, her Dakota Fanning hair shimmering in a sea of darker heads. This is what her parents have traveled halfway around the world for. While her American peers are feasting on the idiocies fed to them by junk TV and summer movies, Happy is navigating her friendships and doing her homework entirely in Mandarin.

Asians Underrepresented in Senior Ranks, Study Says

Despite relatively high salaries and an outsized share of Ivy League degrees, Asian-Americans are underrepresented in executive suites, according to a study released Monday.

 One-quarter of Asian respondents said they face workplace discrimination, while only 4% of Caucasians believe Asians are treated unfairly on the job. According to the report, Asian-American workers are also more likely than other minority workers to work less or consider quitting because of bias."In Asia, there's a saying that the loudest duck gets shot; in America it's: the squeaky wheel gets the grease," said Ms. Hyun. "These things are totally different and at odds with each other."

Ironically, the relative success of Asian workers may be exacerbating the problem. To date, few companies have had career development programs for Asian employees, because they are seen as a "model minority," according to the report.

Ripa Rashid, a coauthor of the report, said that the survey reveals something that she hears often from workers and managers: Asian-American employees are culturally uncomfortable with the type of swagger and self-promotion that often spells success in U.S. firms.

The study also showed that Asian employees may be less comfortable sharing their personal lives with coworkers and less likely to enlist more senior coworkers as mentors or sponsors.

"They just put their heads down and work and believe that's all it takes to get to the top," Ms. Rashid said.

Tiger Mothers or Elephant Mothers? by Peter Singer
Tiger mothering might seem to be a useful counterbalance to such permissiveness, but both extremes leave something out. Chua’s focus is unrelentingly on solitary activities in the home, with no encouragement of group activities, or of concern for others, either in school or in the wider community. Thus, she appears to view school plays as a waste of time that could be better spent studying or practicing music.

But to take part in a school play is to contribute to a community good. If talented children stay away, the quality of the production will suffer, to the detriment of the others who take part (and of the audience that will watch it). And all children whose parents bar them from such activities miss the opportunity to develop social skills that are just as important and rewarding – and just as demanding to master – as those that monopolize Chua’s attention.

We should aim for our children to be good people, and to live ethical lives that manifest concern for others as well as for themselves. This approach to child-rearing is not unrelated to happiness: there is abundant evidence that those who are generous and kind are more content with their lives than those who are not. But it is also an important goal in its own right.

See also:

Summation of Wesley Yang's "Paper Tigers"

Asian kids, Jewish education

On hardass Asian parents

So I finally read "Tiger Mother"

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