Asian-American Education: Historical Background and Current Realities

By Meyer Weinberg | Go to book overview

admiration was based on far more than acclaim for assiduous study. On a different institutional basis, in the United States, similar goals were widely accepted.

Nevertheless, in the United States and elsewhere, a far-ranging debate arose over the sources of Chinese American academic attainment. Peculiarly, only one aspect of the issue was considered: It was supposed by some that Chinese Americans were, across the board, high achievers. Discussion among educators and others simply omitted mention of Chinese Americans who were low achievers. Having thus narrowed the span of concern, high academic achievement was then equated with being Chinese or Chinese American. (Presumably, those with low achievement were less Chinese or even un-Chinese.)

Contemporary American educational and general commentary seems to regard Chinese of low achievement as an oxymoron, a self-contradiction in terms that is outside the pale of academic discussion. Yet, in China itself--the most Chinese of all locations--school authorities readily attest to pupil failure and slowness in learning. As we saw previously, similar trends among Chinese Americans are paid little heed in favor of sciolistic assertions about the distinctive attractions of learning among Chinese. Kwong courageously declared: "There is no truth to the belief that the Chinese have a greater respect for knowledge than other groups. . . . The claim linking Chinese achievement in education to Confucianism is a myth."135 This assertion is highly consistent with the historical record and is discussed further in other chapters.


NOTES
1
John King Fairbank, China. A New History ( Harvard University Press, 1992), p. 106.
2
Wolfram Eberhard, Social Mobility in Traditional China ( E. J. Brill, 1962), p. 26.
3
Thomas H. C. Lee, Government Education and Examinations in Sung China ( Chinese University Press, 1985), p. 21.
5
Denis Twitchett and John K. Fairbank, eds., The Cambridge History of China, vol. 10 ( Cambridge University Press, 1978), p. 155. See also Edgar Kiser and Xiaoxi Tong, "Determinants of the Amount and Type of Corruption in State Fiscal Bureaucracies," Comparative Political Studies, 25 ( October 1992) pp. 300-331.
6
Lee, Government, p. 140.
8
A partial, if abortive, effort to reverse this inattention during the Ming Dynasty is reported in William S. Atwell, "From Education to Politics: The Fu She," pp. 333-367 in William Theodore De Bary , ed., The Unfolding of Neo-Confucianism. ( Columbia University Press, 1975).
9
David Johnson, Andrew J. Nathan, and Evelyn S. Rawski, eds., Popular Culture in Late Imperial China ( University of California Press, 1985), p. 58.
10
Evelyn S. Rawski, "Economic and Social Foundations of Late Imperial Culture," in ibid., p. 7.
11
Evelyn S. Rawski, Education and Popular Literacy in Ch'ing China ( University of Michigan Press, 1979), p. 23.
12
Gail Hershatter, The Workers of Tianjin, 1900-1949 ( Stanford University Press, 1986), p. 80.

-37-

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Asian-American Education: Historical Background and Current Realities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter One: Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - China 12
  • Chapter Two - China 36
  • Notes 37
  • Chapter Three - Chap 42
  • Notes 67
  • Chapter Four - Korea 74
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter Five - Philippines 97
  • Notes 122
  • Concluding Remarks 128
  • Notes 151
  • Chapter Seven - Cambodia 156
  • Concluding Remarks 170
  • Notes 171
  • Chapter Eight Laos 176
  • Notes 199
  • Chapter Nine Hong Kong 205
  • Notes 221
  • Chapter Ten Taiwan 226
  • Notes 237
  • Chapter Eleven Micronesia 241
  • Notes 255
  • Chapter Twelve Polynesia 259
  • Notes 281
  • Chapter Thirteen India 287
  • Notes 307
  • Chapter Fourteen Cross-Group Issues 313
  • Notes 327
  • Index 331
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