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Asian students

  1. Dec 9, 2005 #1
    Why are there so many good students of asian descent nowadays?

    Just take a look at this competition.
    http://www.siemens-foundation.org/2005Berkeley.htm#Michael [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2005 #2


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    It's perhaps more that the students who participate in the SIEMENS WESTINGHOUSE COMPETITION (not to be confused with the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search (now the Intel Science Talent Search)) are highly motivated, and receive support or perhaps expectation from family.

    See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_Westinghouse_Competition
  4. Dec 9, 2005 #3


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    no but i have too seen that. every asian guy in my school (and other every school i have been to) is in the highest set and all are living calculators, geeks, and scientists. (im not including mongolian type).
  5. Dec 9, 2005 #4
    I wouldn't be that much concerned about this problem. Speaking as a asian, there aren't many Oriental/ Asian alumni in science compared to whites. And those people can go to all competitions they want. It doesn't mean they will grow up to be a accomplished scientist/engineer/whatever
  6. Dec 9, 2005 #5
    Astronuc pretty much had the answer: it's because education is highly valued in asian culture and these students get a kind of motivation from their parents that kids of other cultures just don't get at home. Asian kids often learn their first mathematics from their parents, and their success in school is carefully cultivated at home.

    Most American parents are especially lame about this, having relinquished all essentials of education to the schools.
  7. Dec 9, 2005 #6
    I'm willing to bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that most Asian American students now are either originally from their native country or are the first generation born out of their parents' native country (like the USA).

    I happen to be Asian (first generation born in the USA) and my parents had a life that was much different than mine. I can only assume it was much harder (at least physically) as coming to a new country, learning the language/customs and then getting a steady job is no easy task. In fact many of my Asian friends seem to all have this looming guilt trip in that their parents work extremely hard to give them this "ideal" lifestyle and so they are obligated to pay them back with unconditional success. I'm lucky in a way because my parents are relatively lax. In fact, I've been told that I'm lucky that my father didn't force me into engineering and though they aren't particularly convinced that I'll be financially successful being a physicist, they've conceded that it's what I want to do.

    Also, many Asian parents are very competitive (though not mine, really) and force their children into things like musical instruments and summer school simply to add to their childs resume. Their children can sometimes adopt that competitive spirit. It's annoying sometimes because a lot of people assume I started piano because my parents forced me into it when in fact I whined to them about one for months after my toy celesta broke.

    So, in conclusion, it's either because of extreme guilt or an extreme competitive spirit. lol, well, not really, but those are two possible factors.
  8. Dec 9, 2005 #7
    $$ and family expectation and the fact that not alot of asian families look for athletic children...mostly the musical arts and science/engineering

    ...however once past universtiy the majority will look for high paying jobs thus you may see less of them going into academia(profesorship). Doctors/Engineers are probably teh most common...as those were my parents wishes and many of the family friends we have...I can only think of maybe 3 asian family/friends who went to the arts.
  9. Dec 9, 2005 #8
    My landlady, who is Chinese from Taiwan, has a son studying to be a lawyer.
  10. Dec 9, 2005 #9
    My asian friend paints fingernails
  11. Dec 9, 2005 #10
    The school I'm currently at has a large number of asians. Not all asians are in the highest caliber, but many are. My guess is that the culture is different, and also that the asians who come to study in the USA are the most likely to succeed anyway (why spend money on a stupid kid to study when there's plenty of smart ones?).
  12. Dec 10, 2005 #11
    I assume you people have seen the show King of the Hill, where the little asian girl is forced by her father to enter into ochestra, chess club, and other 'intellectual' clubs/groups. What I find funny is that she hangs out with the very stupid next door neighboor. Do asians have dumber friends to hang out with and make themselves seem smarter? Maybe this is why they are percieved as competitive?
  13. Dec 10, 2005 #12
    I gather from your post that Asians consciously hang out with people who they think are less smart than they are to make themselves feel smarter. You watch too many cartoons :rolleyes:
  14. Dec 10, 2005 #13
    Well, my HS student population is around 92% asian and my district is about 70-80% asian. (I am white tho)

    Like others here, I hold that Asian families strongly emphasize education.

    At my high school, there are many "stupid,"..well, not-so-smart Asians; similarly, my high school has some "average" students (Asians generally...my high school, as I mentioned, is around 90-92% Asian.) Only a few would I deem "smart"/"motivated" or "intelligent."

    The Asian emphasis on education, from my perspective, is usually limited to grades and transcript appeal. Given the watered/dumbed-down curriculum of public education...students will not gain competence/capabilities via an emphasis on grades. This is not a case of "grade inflation"...really, it is due to a lack of academic rigor in public education, and that affects almost every student.

    You see...they may appear "smart" or "good students" due to grades or extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, the extrinsic pursuit of grades and "transcript appeal" has its faults; if an activity/award/educational subject cannot enhance one's transcript, it will not be pursued. They are "hard workers" without a doubt---but not necessarily "bright, intelligent, or truly motivated students."

    **However, the proportions of students who are intrinsically motivated in academia appears greater among Asian populations than others! Why?

    *Quite simply :redface:, however extrinsically motivated their academic pursuits are----they are, after all, "academic pursuits." Basically, there is already some sort of academic "ground" and knowledge available---already better environment for intrinsic academic inspiration to occur in....provided that it *does* occur :rolleyes:

    In general (aside from the previous paragraph), it seems, rather than "explore academia for its enjoyment and understanding that follows," or "take some additional courses...even if they don't 'enhance' one's transcript"......the emphasis is on grades and transcript appeal.

    This has its advantages--that is, entrance into a good college/university--as well as its disadvantages--that is, lack of intrinsic motivation to learn academic material. Especially with teachers who just grade on homework and "effort"--there is little or no motivation, among Asians (90-92% of my school) just as well as with others (the other 8-10%, that is) to investigate and explore the class's academic topics and material in greater depth than required for an 'A'.

    In conclusion, there are three things you must understand:

    **What I wrote here is my opinion, from experience and judgment. It is ONLY an opinion...so please don't sue :redface:
    **What I wrote here applies only to public grade school education. Private schools, homeschools...I am not familiar with those other systems of education.
    **My experience is limited what I observe/experience/see in San Francisco :blushing: Other cities have other systems of education, teachers, methods of instruction, statistics, etc...

    Now where exactly is her intrinsic motivation for those "orchestra/chess/clubs" ? :wink:.....

    (if you see what I mean)
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2005
  15. Dec 10, 2005 #14
    I had a neighbor who was asian who did that part time. For some reason that's a popular job among asian women.
  16. Dec 10, 2005 #15
    lol It's amusing that you're so careful about not sounding like you're comfortable with stereotyping.

    I think that your observations have some truth. I think it all comes down to the parents, though. I can assure you that Asian students aren't intrinsically grade or transcript driven. It's just that the family structure is so much more.. top heavy in Asian culture. For example, I grew up never questioning a thing that my father said because he could always respond with something like "You don't have any say because I'm your father so you owe me your life!" (ok, maybe that's just my dad).

    Anyway, the reason I feel this way is that I've been through that and sort of grew out of it. In grammar and middle school, I was the typical good-grade-getting teacher's-pet student. Then, during my 4 years of Catholic High School (I'm not Christian), the teenage rebelion years arrived and I started slacking off, questioning stuff, getting into arguments with parents. My father would sometimes say to me "No parent has to deal with a child like you!" (talk about culture shock). I still got by with pretty good grades. My relationship with my parents started becoming distant. And so when I started college, I felt no obligation to living a life for their praise (well that's a lie; I can't afford to pay for college myself, which still actually bothers me quite a bit, so I feel some obligation). Luckily, unlike for many of my Asian friends, my parents have eventually let go and trusted me to do what I want.

    Unfortunatly (or so I feel), some Asian students don't grow out of that mind set and, as you said, continue to work for grades. In college, this could manifest itself into choosing majors for financial or practical interest in spite of actual interest. I think that's why there are so many more Asian American students in, say, engineering than science. I mean, c'mon - who really wants to be an engineer? (hah just kidding :wink: ) I say American because of course an Asian student who travels all the way to another country to study, say, physics is much more likely to be doing it for interest.

    Anyway, enough of my gratuitious life story. I made a lot of generalizations, so you may yell at me if you wish :biggrin:
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2005
  17. Jan 6, 2006 #16
    Is it just me or does bomba923's post seem to belittle acheivements by asian students?
  18. Jan 6, 2006 #17
    LOL @ asians. They have to make up for their small ===D somehow. Oh wait thats right I forgot. I am an asian guy too :blushing:
  19. Jan 6, 2006 #18
    I never understand your type of behavior, or humor.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  20. Jan 6, 2006 #19
    of course you don't. most people don't because of the fact that

    1.) most of the time my humor is extremely sarcastic/dry

    2.) i love taking advantage of the fact that on the internet message board you can not tell what type of tone voice a person is talking in. I love pissing people off with offensive posts that come across as being serious because they can not tell I am being ultra sarcastic.
  21. Jan 6, 2006 #20
    Ooo.....Not. I am fully aware that you are trying to be sarcastic. what i don t understand is why. Are you trying to act cool???
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