Asian Americans and education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The communities that constitute the racialized category of Asian Americans consist of approximately 20 million people in the United States, or about 5% of the total population. About 20% or 4 million are of primary or secondary school age, and over 1.1 million are in higher education. Both in popular and academic discourse, “Asian American” generally refers to people who have ethnic backgrounds in South Asia (e.g., Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (e.g., Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), and East Asia (e.g., China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan). As “Asian American” is an umbrella term used to categorize a very diverse, heterogeneous, and transnational set of populations, Asian Americans as a group present various challenges to education and research in and about the United States. These challenges can concern paradigms of achievement, citizenship, family involvement, access (e.g., higher education, bilingual education), language and culture, race and ethnicity, and school community.

In order to address these paradigmatic challenges, a great deal of scholarship has called for a disaggregation of the data on populations that fall under the pan-ethnic “Asian America” umbrella term, to gain a more nuanced and dynamic understanding of the many diverse populations and their historical, cultural, economic, and political experiences. To further address the problematic framing of Asian Americans in education and related fields, scholars have applied critical lenses to key tensions within conceptualization, policy, curriculum, and pedagogy. More recently, the notions of intersectionality and transnationalism have been generative in the study of Asian Americans, within not only educational research but also Asian American studies, which generally falls under the field of ethnic studies in the U.S. context, but has also been categorized under American studies, cultural studies, or Asian studies. While characterizations of Asian Americans as “the Model Minority” or “the Oppressed Minority” persist, the relevance of such static binaries has increasingly been challenged as the Asian American populations and migrations continue to diversify and increase. Copyright © 2017 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford research encyclopedia of education
EditorsGeorge W. NOBLIT
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Fingerprint

education
minority
disaggregation
bilingual education
intersectionality
Cambodia
South Asia
Sri Lanka
cultural studies
educational research
Southeast Asia
Vietnam
Bangladesh
Philippines
Thailand
Korea
Pakistan
community
primary school
Taiwan

Citation

Chang, B. (2017). Asian Americans and education. In G. W. Noblit (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopedia of education. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.013.102

Keywords

  • Asian American
  • Methodology
  • Policy
  • Pedagogy
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Intersectionality
  • Transnationalism
  • Literature review