Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Model Minority

I teach kids from all over the world, and I was very happy to come across this article. Somehow people revel in stereotypes, and they think if they say a group is smarter, that it's somehow not a stereotype. But if you expect more from kids because of their national origin (or skin color, or sex, or religion, or whatever), then you are acting out of sheer ignorance.

They come big, tall, fat, thin, smart, not so smart, and every degree in between. I've seen excellent to terrible from each and every group I've ever taught (including Americans). Really, teachers need to take kids one at a time and if they can't, they shouldn't be taking them at all.

The best predictor of academic success, or lack of it, is parental involvement. If your parents let you stay home and watch Jerry Springer every day, the chances of excelling in the school you've failed to attend all year are considerably lessened. But if they teach you school is important, and if they follow your progress with interest, your chances for academic success brighten considerably.

No matter what color your skin is.
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