6 - EducationASA3Fall2009

6 - EducationASA3Fall2009 - Asian American Studies 3...

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Unformatted text preview: Asian American Studies 3 Psychosocial Perspectives of Asian Americans The The Numbers Game By Feifei Sun/Jenkins High School The The numbers don't lie. Studies show that Asians consistently perform better than all other ethnic/racial groups, including whites, on the math portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Since 1990, the average math score rose by 19 points for Asian Americans, while it rose by only 15 points for whites. "The greater increase in math scores on the part of Asian-American students is believed to be due to Asianthe greater increase in numbers of Asian Americans taking more challenging courses in mathematics and science in high schools throughout the nation," said Judith Wilburn, college counselor at St. Andrew's School. However, the flip side of the equation is not so positive. The national average verbal score, 505, has remained the same over the past two years. For Asian Americans, the average verbal score has consistently remained at 490. This sometimes poses a major problem because some Asian Americans are not scoring high enough on the verbal portion of the SAT to meet the requirements for college entrance. "Verbal SAT scores tend to correlate with socio-economic status and level of education of parents, suggesting that the sociostudents' verbal abilities are affected by factors such as vocabulary heard in the household and exposure to literature at home," Wilburn said. "Obviously, second -generation Asian students, whose parents do not speak English as their native language, have had a more limited exposure to breadth of English vocabulary throughout their childhood." Camille DeLucia, head guidance counselor at Jenkins High School, adds another perspective. She said sometimes Asians have the advantage because "they learned the language correctly," instead of picking up jargon and slang from conversation and media. Another factor that has been shown to correlate with verbal scores is intensive study of Latin or a romance language. The question arises whether Asian students are as likely to be enrolled in courses such as AP English Language and AP English Literature as they are to be in advanced math and science courses. Thomas Lin, a senior at Savannah Country Day School, is familiar with this problem. While he scored a 720 on the math portion of the SAT, he only managed a 520 on the verbal portion. "Yes, I am bothered by this," said Lin, who read much more and worked with an SAT tutor for English to help improve his scores. Though disappointed, Lin is satisfied enough with his overall score that he does not plan on taking the SAT again. What can students of any race/ethnicity do to improve their verbal SAT scores? "Read!" said DeLucia. "(Reading) introduces students to new vocabulary." 1 2005 SAT Reasoning Test Takers Verbal Who Described Themselves As: M American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian American/Pacific Islander African American or Black Mexican or Mexican American Puerto Rican Latin/South/Central/Other Hisp White Other 492 512 432 461 466 471 535 497 F 486 509 434 447 455 457 528 493 Total 489 511 433 453 460 463 532 495 M 510 595 442 483 476 490 554 534 F 479 566 424 447 443 453 520 497 Total 493 580 431 463 457 469 536 513 Math UC UC Davis Students 2007 Theories of AA Achievements n Genetic: Asians are genetically superior in intelligence--Lynn; intelligence--Lynn; Rushton; Jensen Cultural: Asian cultural values and socialization practices encourage educational achievements -achievements-Liu Relative Functionalism: Asian Americans find educational achievements provide mobility --Sue mobility--Sue and Okazaki n n 2 Richard Lynn Arthur Jensen J. Philippe Rushton 3 Rushton & Jensen n East Asians score higher on IQ tests than do Whites, both within the U.S. and in Asia, even though IQ tests were developed for use in the Euro-American culture. Around Eurothe world, the average IQ for East Asians centers around 106; that for Whites, about 100; and that for Blacks, about 85 in the U.S. and 70 in sub-Saharan Africa. subBlack and the White three-year-old children in the three-yearstandardization sample of the Stanford -Binet IV show a one Stanfordstandard deviation mean difference after being matched on gender, birth order, and maternal education. n Rushton & Jensen Many Many critics claim that Western -developed IQ tests are not Westernvalid for groups as culturally different as sub-Saharan subAfricans. The main evidence to support a claim of external external bias would be if the test failed to predict performance for Africans. Even if tests only under-predicted performance underfor Africans relative to non -Africans, it would suggest that nontheir test scores underestimated their “true” IQ scores. However, a review by Kendall, Verster, and von Mollendorf (1988) showed that test scores for Africans have about equal predictive validity as those for non -Africans (e.g., .20 to .50 nonfor students’ school grades and for employees’ job performance). Rushton & Jensen Reaction time is one of the simplest culture-free cognitive culturemeasures. Most reaction time tasks are so easy that 9 - to 129- 12yearyear-old children can perform them in less than one second. But even on these very simple tests, children with higher IQ scores perform faster than do children with lower scores (the explanation usually adopted is that reaction times measure the neurophysiological efficiency of the brain’s capacity to process information accurately -- the same ability measured by intelligence tests). Children are not trained to perform well on reaction time tasks (as they are on certain paper-and -pencil tests), so the advantage of paper-andthose with higher IQ scores on these tasks cannot arise from practice, familiarity, education, or training. 4 Reaction Time Tasks n Simple RT. In the simplest task a single light comes on and the subject moves his hand to switch it off. This response normally takes around half a second. Choice RT. In more complex situations, one of several lights comes on and has to be switched off. This task takes longer to complete than simple RT. Odd Man Out RT. In a still more complex task, three lights come on of which two are close together and one stands apart. Here the subject has to judge which is the light that stands apart and switch it off. It is more difficult than the simpler reaction time tasks and typically takes about twice as long. n n IQ IQ and RT Hong Kong Sample size IQ scores Simple RT 118 113 361 Japan 110 110 348 Britain 239 100 371 Ireland 317 89 388 South Africa 350 67 398 64 SD .94* r Choice RT 423 433 480 485 489 67 .89* Odd-manout RT 787 818 898 902 924 187 .96* Rushton & Jensen Among Among individuals, intelligence is related to brain size. About two-dozen studies using twoMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure the volume of the human brain have found an overall correlation with IQ of greater than .40. Altogether there are now about 15 studies on over 700 subjects showing that individuals with larger brain volumes have higher IQ scores. 5 Rushton & Jensen The The most likely reason why larger brains are, on average, more intelligent than smaller brains is that they contain more neurons and synapses, which make them more efficient. Haier et al. (1995) tested the brain efficiency hypothesis by using MRI to measure brain volume and glucose metabolic rate (GMR) to measure glucose uptake (an indicator of energy use). They found a correlation of -.58 between glucose metabolic rate and IQ, showing that more intelligent individuals have more efficient brains because they use less energy in performing a given cognitive task. Rushton Rushton & Jensen Rushton Rushton (2000; Rushton & Ankney, 1996) summarized the world database using the three methods on which there are a sufficient number of studies (autopsies, endocranial volume, head measurements), as well as head measurements corrected for body size. The results in cm3 or equivalents were: East Asians = 1,351, 1,415, 1,335, 1,356 (mean = 1,364) Whites = 1,356, 1,362, 1,341, 1,329 (mean = 1,347) Blacks = 1,223, 1,268, 1,284, 1,294 (mean = 1,267) The overall mean for East Asians is 17 cm3 more than that for Whites and 97 cm3 more than that for Blacks. Rushton Rushton & Jensen Studies Studies of Korean and Vietnamese children adopted into White homes show that although as babies many had been hospitalized for malnutrition, they nonetheless grew to have IQs ten or more points higher than their adoptive national norms. By contrast, Black and mixed-race mixed(Black(Black-White) children adopted into White middlemiddleclass families typically have lower average scores than the White siblings with whom they had been reared, or than White children adopted into similar homes. 6 Rushton & Jensen; Lynn n Three studies of East Asian children adopted by White families strongly support the hereditarian hypothesis. In the first, 25 four-year-olds from Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, four-yearand Thailand, all adopted into White American homes prior to three years of age, excelled in academic ability with a mean IQ score of 120, as opposed to a U.S. national norm of 100 (Clark & Hanisee, 1982). Prior to placement half the babies had required hospitalization for malnutrition. In the second, Winick, Meyer, and Harris (1975) found 141 Korean children adopted as infants by American families exceeded the American average in both IQ and achievement scores when they reached 10 years of age . Korean children raised in Belgium families also showed above average IQs (Frydman & Lynn, 1989). n Rushton Rushton & Jensen n The currently most accepted view of human origins, the “Out-of-Africa” theory, posits “Out-ofthat Homo sapiens arose in Africa about Homo 150,000 years ago, expanded northwards beyond Africa about 100,000 years ago, with a European-East Asian split about 41,000 Europeanyears ago (Stringer & McKie, 1996; CavalliCavalliSforza et al., 1994). Rushton & Jensen n Evolutionary selection pressures were different in the hot savanna where Africans lived, than in the cold northern regions Europeans experienced, or the even colder Arctic regions of East Asians. These ecological differences affected not only morphology but also behavior. It has been proposed that the farther north the populations migrated out of Africa, the more they encountered the cognitivelycognitivelydemanding problems of gathering and storing food, gaining shelter, making clothes, and raising children successfully during prolonged winters (Rushton, 2000). As these populations evolved into present -day Europeans and presentEast Asians, the ecological pressures selected for larger brains, slower rates of maturation, and lower levels of sex hormone – with concomitant reductions in sexual potency, aggressiveness, and impulsivity, and increases in family stability, advanced planning, self-control, rule following, selfand longevity, and the other characteristics 7 Rushton & Jensen n In The Bell Curve, Herrnstein and Murray (1994) offered some specific The policy recommendations based on their conclusions about genetic variation and IQ, which are generally concordant with political conservatism, such as scaling back affirmative action, reducing the intrusiveness of government, and returning to individualism. Most political conservatives, however, support these recommendations, no matter how the nature -nurture question is “resolved,” with which Murray agreed. Arthur Jensen, also writing from the hereditarian perspective, recently opined that giving primacy to individual rights maximizes fairness, which he pragmatically defined as the ability of each individual to reach his or her full potential (Miele, in press). He therefore argued for a restructuring of the educational system by tailoring methods to fit the individual, and letting the group outcomes individual group become what they may, rather than allowing claims of differential performance to justify group rights over individual rights. Seeds Seeds in Soil Seeds in Soil Good Soil Bad Soil 8 Harold Stevenson n Stevenson wanted to use a direct approach to comparing cognitive abilities. First and fifth graders in Japan, Taiwan, and United States were carefully selected matched on demographic variables. Cognitive measures --verbal and measures--verbal performance tests--were devised with considerable tests--were attention to task equivalence and appropriateness for the different cultures and languages. Achievement tests for mathematics and reading were also constructed. Reliability for the measures was found to be generally good. Results on the cognitive measures revealed a few group differences on subtests, but no overall difference in intelligence. Distribution and variability of scores were similar for each sample. On mathematics achievement tests, Chinese performed well, while Americans had relatively low scores. Cognitive performance was a fairly good predictor of mathematics achievement scores but not of verbal scores. There were no general differences in cognitive functioning between the samples, and superiority of Asians in math was not attributable to higher levels of cognitive functioning among the Asian samples. Advantages Advantages of Stevenson’s Work n Their investigations attempted to directly compare cognitive functioning rather than to compare the performance of one population to the norms derived from the performances of another population. In addition to being a direct test of cognitive functioning, Stevenson's research also tried to develop comparable and culturallyculturallyappropriate instruments for populations and to test explanatory variables (e.g., schooling). The research revealed no differences in overall cognitive function of Americans in Minnesota, Chinese in Taiwan, and Japanese in Japan, although Asians had higher mathematics achievement scores. Whatever the differences, they were most likely a product of environment. Critique Critique n Stevenson et al. (1985) have noted that Chinese and Japanese outperform Americans on mathematics. What is particularly interesting is the fact that crosscross-national studies indicate that Japanese and Chinese students are given far more instruction in mathematics than are Americans, whose teachers emphasize reading skills. Stigler and Baranes (1988) carry the point further by arguing that language and culture influence mathematics learning and thinking. They provide many other examples of the relationship between cultural practices and thinking. For example, in several Asian countries, children are introduced to the use of the abacus in making arithmetic calculations. Some children are given additional training in the use of the abacus, developing the ability to perform calculations using a mental abacus (imagining the use of an abacus). These children revealed remarkable speed in making mental calculations, and the patterns of errors resembled those that would be found in using an actual abacus. The internalization of the abacus becomes a tool for thought. Development of such tools may well influence not only computational skills but also a wide variety of mathematical and related skills. The point is that the mathematics learning seems (a) to be cultural in nature, involving language, developing mental tools, schooling, and cultural practices and (b) to involve many thought processes which may facilitate performance on visuospatial tasks. In the case of Asian Americans, low English verbal and high quantitative performances on achievements tests are understandable, especially for immigrants. n 9 Adoption Studies n Frydman and Lynn's study was based on a sample of 19 Korean children adopted by Belgian families who were broadly middle class, employed in white collar positions. The investigators concluded that on the WISC, which was administered in French, the KoreanKorean- Belgium children had high IQ scores and demonstrated the low verbal-high verbalvisuospatial pattern found in other Asians. However, in drawing their conclusions, a number of assumptions had to be made. First, the French WISC was standardized in 1954 in France. To compare the performance of the Korean children who took the WISC in 1983 with the standardization in 1954, the investigators had to adjust the 1954 norms by calculating the yearly increases that occur on IQ tests. To do this, they used an estimate of 3 IQ points per decade which they estimated from the American population. In using the French norms in 1954, calculating yearly IQ gains based on Americans, and then applying the results to Koreans raised in Belgium, many assumptions have to be valid in order to draw conclusions. Another problem was that the norms were constructed in France, not Belgium. Second, to test for possible social class influences, Frydman and Lynn compared the IQ scores of eight Koreans from the professional class parents with 11 children from the middle class parents and found no differences. Given the fact that the comparisons were based on rather small numbers and that both groups were actually considered as "middle class" by the investigators (a restricted range), quite a weak test of social class influences is made. The investigators also acknowledged that "A more conservative reading of the data is that there is no appreciable difference between the intelligence of Korean adoptees reared by middle class Belgian parents and that of Caucasian children reared in similar circumstances" (Frydman & Lynn, 1989, p. 1324). n n Richard Richard Nisbett n Subtle environmental influences can confound the picture of heritability painted by twin studies, making small genetic variations look much more significant than they really are. "Suppose you have two identical twins, John and Joe. They're both a little bit taller than average and a little bit quicker than average. They're raised in different environments, but those environments are going to be made similar by virtue of the fact that this relatively small advantage is going to lead them to play basketball more frequently, to be chosen on teams more, for it to be more rewarding, for them to come to the attention of coaches, so they're going to be similar with respect to basketball ability. And other identical twins who may be a little shorter and stodgier than average are going to have very similar experiences to each other, and end up not having much basketball ability. But this pattern of data will tell you that basketball ability is largely heritable.“ The same is true of intelligence: "Relatively small genetic differences in intelligence can be parleyed through environmental effects which are a consequence of those very small differences Most identical twins raised apart are still raised in the same town, go to the same school, or are raised by relatives. "Adoptive families are like Tolstoy's happy families, — they're all alike. They tend to be upper middle class or middle class. There's not that much difference between Doctor Jones' family and Lawyer Smith's family." Such families provide extremely promotive conditions for IQ." What's more, even when adoptive extremely families are working class, those families tend to have home environments more like their upperupper- class counterparts in that they promote intellectual attainment. The similarity among adoptive parents is so great that it puts a strict limit on how high the correlations between IQ and environment can be, and thus makes IQ look like it's all a matter of genetics when it's really not. "The similarities in identical twins are a function of their shared experiences." n n 10 n Those who persist in arguing that there is any kind of genetic component in the Black-“White IQ gap are easily refuted by a wide Blackrange of data. For one thing, Blacks in this country range from mostly African in ancestry to partly or even mostly European in ancestry, yet studies have found zero correlation between the degree of European ancestry and IQ in Black populations — which would have to exist if heritage played any role in the IQ difference. Likewise, a natural experiment in which Black or mixed-race children were adopted into mixedeither Black or White middle-class homes showed that Black and middlemixed race children have the same average IQ at age 9, indicating that European heritage has no advantage for Black children. Equally important, the race of the adopting family makes a great deal of difference: the children raised in Black homes had IQs 13 points lower than those raised in White homes. The race of the adopting family accounted for almost all of the IQ difference found between Black and White children at the time of the study, indicating that environmental factors account for all the difference between the races. Ward Connerly n n n n n Since the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, Asian enrollment at UC has skyrocketed. For example, UC Berkeley has a 42 percent Asian undergraduate enrollment; UC Irvine is at 55 percent; UC Riverside is 43 percent; and UC Los Angeles is 38 percent. The overall percentage in the nine undergraduate UC campuses is more than 40 percent, in a state where the Asian population is about 13 percent. Thus, Asians are excelling under policies that emphasize and reward academic achievement at a ratio that is more than three times their actual statewide population. As the percentage of Asians has skyrocketed, there is no question that UC administrators and social engineers on the UC faculty have become increasingly alarmed and feel a sense of obligation to do something and, clearly, the only way to reduce the Asian presence is to de - emphasize academic achievement. In recent months, the UC regents have deliberated about – and approved – a proposal that would significantly revise the admissions policies of the university. Beginning in 2012, UC will no longer automatically admit the top 12.5 percent of all students based on statewide performance and will no longer place the reliance that is currently placed on grades and test scores. Instead, the eligibility pool will be expanded by a projected 40 percent by eliminating the requirement for applicants to take the SAT subject matter tests. The effect is that academic achievement will be less significant and UC admissions administrators will have the "flexibility" to discriminate against those allegedly "dull" Asians. As is generally the case, the UC faculty was well aware of the probable effect of its proposed changes. It was certain that any change in policies that would adversely affect Asians would go unchallenged by Asians. The so- called Asian civil rights groupscast their solot with the "diversity" and inclusion crowd. They have looked the other way when Asians have been the victims of blatant discrimination. The absence of a squeaky wheel demanding grease allowed the UC faculty and regents to roll right along with their proposal and to approve it. 11 Evolutionary Theory Homo sapiens started migrating from Africa northward into Europe and Asia about 120,000 years ago. Those who populated North East Asia were subjected to severe cold, because the ice ages began to descend on the northern regions. The hostile environment required increased survival skills (constructing shelters, storing food, planning for winters, etc.). Over time selection pressures for improved general intelligence were greater for "Mongoloids" than for "Caucasoids" and "Negroids," according to Lynn. Because of the necessity for improved hunting skills in the cold regions, superior visuospatial abilities developed among the Mongoloids, at the expense of verbal skills. That is, since the brain could not increase its size to accommodate an overall improvement in intelligence, more of the brain's cortex was devoted to visuospatial than verbal functioning. Lynn's explanation can be challenged on many fronts. Particularly problematic to us is the assumption that the people in most of Asia were the descendants of those who came from North East Asia. This assumption must be made in order to explain the superior visuospatial abilities that Lynn found in Chinese from various parts of Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, etc.), Korea, and Japan. Considerable evidence exists that migration from Africa was not simply confined to the cold regions of Asia. Indeed, migration to warmer parts of Asia occurred simultaneously with that to the north, and remains of early cultures were found throughout Southeast Asia (Chang, 1976). There is also evidence that the origins of the Japanese people were from diverse parts of the world including Southeast Asia (Keischauer, 1990; Nakane, 1974). Summary Summary of Criticisms of Genetic Theory n n n n IQ as a limited measure of intelligence Within and between group explanations Stevenson’s work equating tests Adoption study problems n n n Comparisons of IQ scores Social class comparisons Lynn’s own conclusions n n Out of Africa theory Can account for differences through nurture Chinese Cognition by Imao Liu n The main assumption of the simultaneous-processing model is that, at simultaneousthe time of processing a momentary stimulus condition, a person takes into account his or her past experience. If C1 condition, then R1 behavior. (1) In other words, this rule of behavior says that in the condition C1, a person will behave in a way specified by R1. If a behavioral rule is incompatible with a momentary stimulus condition, a person's response will tend to be suppressed. On the other hand, if a behavioral rule is compatible with a momentary stimulus condition, a person's response will be facilitated. If a behavioral rule is neither incompatible nor compatible with a momentary stimulus condition, a person’s response will not be affected. n n n 12 Respect Superiors—Rule 5 Superiors— n Some behavioral rules are quite general, in the sense that the conditions specified in the condition-action rules are very broad; the acquisition of such conditionbehavioral rules affects a wide variety of behavior. From childhood, the Chinese are taught to respect and be obedient to their superiors under all circumstances. If your superiors are present, or indirectly involved in any situation, then you are to respect and obey them. (5) Liu, Chuang, and Wang (1975) sampled printed passages containing 1,000,000 words from newspapers, magazines, works of fiction and non-fiction, the nontextbooks of primary and secondary schools, as well as non-educational nonreading matter. All the sampled passages are likely to have been read by the typical educated Chinese adult. Although it is possible to pick out all passages related to Rule 5, for our purpose it suffices to consider the frequency counts of related words such as ‘loyal’ and ‘filial’. There are more loyal- and filial-related words in Chinese than in English and loyalfilialfrequencies of usage are also higher in Chinese than in English n n n Consequences n Ru1e 5 is incompatible or in conflict with an overtly assertive attitude. One of the best attitude. behavioral manifestations of an overly assertive attitude is verbal and ideational fluency for it is impossible for a person to assert himself or herself overtly without verbal and ideational fluency. Because they take Rule 5 into account in many types of situation, the Chinese people will appear less fluent, verbally and ideationally, than Westerners. Westerners. n Memorization— Memorization—Rule 6 n If the purpose is to acquire the knowledge contained in an article, then the best strategy is to memorize the article. (6) In junior high schools in Taiwan (grades 7 to 9), teachers also require their pupils to memorize every lesson written in the old literary style. Such lessons comprise about 30 per cent of texts in the first year (grade 7) and increase to about 60 per cent in the third year (grade 9). Another survey was made by S. Bond of an American school in Hong Kong in which the method of teaching is the same as that in the United States. The survey showed that primary-school children were not required to primarymemorize English lessons, with the exception of spelling and some grammatical rules. n n 13 Practice— Practice—Rule 7 n Another specific behavioral rule closely related to the ‘memorize lesson’ rule is the ‘practice skill’ rule If the purpose is to acquire any new cognitive skill, then the best strategy is to practice repeatedly. (7) According to a recent cross-cultural survey by Stevenson and his crossassociates (cited in Cunningham, 1984), American grade 1 pupils spent an average of 14 minutes each weekday on homework. Japanese grade 1 pupils spent 37 minutes and the Taiwanese students spent 77 minutes — more than five times longer than the Americans. Interestingly, American mothers rated ability as a stronger factor than effort in their children’s success in school. The Japanese and Taiwanese mothers, on the other hand, rated effort as more important than ability. Of course, parents who believe that success depends more upon ability than effort are less likely to require their children to work hard in school and at home than parents who believe that effort is more important. n n Consequences Therefore, by acquiring these two rules from their early childhood: First, Chinese students will perform better than Westerners at those school subjects that require memory and practice. practice. Second, and more specifically, as a consequence of following the ‘memorize lesson’ rule, Chinese are expected to rehearse earlier in their childhood while memorizing and to develop more efficient memory strategies than Westerners. Third, as a consequence of observing the ‘practice skill’ rule, Chinese children are expected to excel not only in language courses but also in sciences and mathematics. The reason for this conjecture is that mathematics. achievement tests depend upon drill in solving science and mathematics problems. Consequences Chinese acquire the ‘respect superiors’ rule during their childhood. This rule should not be considered as a single behavioral rule, but as a large set of behavioral rules that include traditional ways of dealing with superiors in everyday life. Chinese have to take this rule into account in responding in almost any situation. Consequently, as the simultaneoussimultaneous-processing model predicts, a person’s performance latency tends to be lengthened, and deviant responses tend to be suppressed. However, the characteristic that responses are deviant or rare is one precondition of originality and creativity. In other words, by taking into account the ‘respect superiors’ rule at the time of performing an act, Chinese tend to be less fluent, both verbally and ideationally. ideationally. 14 Consequences The first area in which we shall examine verbal and ideational fluency is that of parentparent-child interaction. If Chinese children are to learn the ‘respect superiors’ rule from their early childhood, incompatible rules, such as assertiveness and eloquence, should simultaneously be suppressed or unlearned from the beginning. This means that Chinese children have to learn many rules at the expense of verbal skills. skills. Consequences Consequences The second area in which verbal and ideational fluency may be• measured is the performance of children. Lesser, Fifer, and Clark (1965) conducted one of the most comprehensive and careful studies designed to examine the patterns of various mental abilities in young American children from different cultural backgrounds. They used four tests from the Hunter College Aptitude Scales (Davis, Lesser, and French, 1960). The four tests measured verbal ability, reasoning, number facility, and space conceptualization in grade 1 children from four ethnic groups (Chinese, Jewish, Negro, and Puerto Rican), with each ethnic group divided into middle- and lower-class groups. They found that each middlelowerethnic group showed a distinctive pattern of abilities regardless of social class, with Chinese and Jews generally higher on reasoning, number facility, and space conceptualization than Negroes and Puerto Ricans. However, the Chinese group was much lower than Jews on verbal ability and even lower than the Negroes, although the Chinese were the highest on space conceptualization. In a follow-up study six followyears later, Lesser (1976) reported that these cultural patterns had remained quite stable. Findings Precisely this type of result was obtained in an extensive study by Liu and Hsu (1974), testing subjects from grade 2 to secondsecond-year university students with a Chinese version of the Torrance: test of creative thinking (Torrance, 1966). This test measures (a) idea fluency , which is obtained by fluency, simply counting the number of ideas generated, (b) originality, originality, which is scored by counting the number of completely unique ideas on the basis of statistical frequency, and (c) flexibility, which represents the number flexibility, of different categories of idea produced. In all three measures, the Taiwan norms were below the American norms, as was expected 15 Consequences A third possible effect of extensive practice in reading and writing Chinese characters would be reflected in superior performance in space perception . Bond (1980) also made perception. this conjecture. Thus it is generally found that Chinese subjects consistently show higher functioning than their American counterparts when concepts or abilities involving space, form, or shape are being assessed High Achievement Levels n Relative Functionalism Theory n Perhaps Asian Americans Are "Advantaged" In Terms Of Socioeconomic Standing And Provide Their Children With Special Resources And Opportunities There is no strong evidence that this can explain the racial or ethnic differences. In a report by Arbeiter (1984) on college bound seniors, the median parental income of Asian Americans was lower than that of Whites, $25,400 and $32,900 respectively; the educational attainments of the parents were comparable. Yet, Asian Americans were found to outperform Whites on high school grades and SATM scores. 16 Perhaps Some Of The Educational Achievements Can Be Accounted For By The Inclusion Of Foreign Students Among Asian Americans Or Of Asian Immigrants Who Already Have High Levels Of Education And Subsequently Become Naturalized American Citizens Or Permanent Residents n The available evidence does not support this possibility. Using data from the 1980 U.S. Census, Kan and Liu (1986) compared the percentage of native and foreign born individuals who had completed four years of college. Although there was a tendency for foreign born individuals to have higher educational levels, perhaps because of immigration policies favoring the educated, American born Asians exceeded American born Whites in the proportion of those with four years of college education: Whites, 18%; Chinese, 42%; Japanese, 27%; Koreans, 27%. Filipinos (15%) and Asian Indians (13%) born in the United States were somewhat lower than Whites. Cultural Explanation n Based largely on anecdotal and observational evidence rather than empirical findings, investigators have identified the following values or practices in Asian families that may promote educational achievements: demands and expectations for achievement and upward mobility; induction of guilt about parental sacrifices and the need to fulfill obligations; respect for education; social comparisons with other Asian American families in terms of educational success; obedience to elders such as teachers. Implications Implications n n n First, cultural factors (childrearing practices, socialization experiences, etc., characteristic of the cultural group) should correlate strongly with achievement levels. Second, with increased acculturation to mainstream American values (and extinction of Asian cultural values), achievement levels should diminish. Third, to improve educational attainments for all groups, Americans should selectively adopt certain Asian cultural values. 17 Relative Functionalism Assumptions n Cultural values can aid, be irrelevant to, or hinder educational pursuits. Asian American values foster educational achievements. Asian cultural values are directly related to educational achievements. With increased acculturation, educational achievements decline. Asian Americans experience and receive limited mobility in noneducational areas of success. The greater the limitations in noneducational areas, the more salient education becomes as a means for mobility. Note: The relative functionalism perspective does not disagree with the assumptions, tasks, and implications of the cultural thesis. It simply adds another dimension to explain the achievements of Asian Americans. n n California High School Study n Dornbusch and colleagues (Dornbusch, Prescott, & Ritter, 1987; Dornbusch, Ritter, Leiderman, Roberts, & Fraleigh, 1987; Ritter & Dornbusch, 1989) have reported on their ongoing investigations of thousands of high school students in California, including one of the largest population of Asian Americans ever surveyed. The project investigated the relationship between family variables and academic achievement for various ethnic minority groups. Some Some Findings n First, Asian American students exhibited the highest grade point average among all groups including Blacks, Latinos, Whites, and others. Second, based on the responses to the questionnaires, students from the ethnic groups were compared on the type of family in which they had been reared: Parental communication patterns that foster unquestioning obedience to parents (Authoritarian style), freedom for the child to choose what to do with minimal parental involvement (Permissive), and expectations for mature behavior and encouragement of open two -way communications between parents and children (Authoritative). Asian American students came from families high on Authoritarian and Permissive, and low on Authoritative characteristics, the opposite of White students. Their parents also had the lowest level of parental involvement among the groups studied. Third, for all groups and irrespective of social class, Authoritarianism and Permissiveness were inversely related, while parental involvement was directly related, to academic achievements. (Parenting style, however, was a weaker predictor of grades for Asians than for Whites.) n n 18 Conclusions n Thus, the very characteristics associated with the Asian American group predicted low academic achievements for all groups; yet, Asian American students had higher levels of academic achievements. The results suggest that while parenting styles may account for within group achievement levels for Asian Americans, they fail to explain between group differences (i.e., between Asian Americans and the other groups). The findings do not support the hypothesis the cultural hypothesis--namely, that Asian Americans hypothesis--namely, differ from other groups in achievements because of differences in upbringing. While ethnic differences in parenting styles do exist, they fail to account for the observed ethnic differences in achievements. n Other variables examined by the investigators did not reveal group differences. Asian American responses were not significantly different from the other groups on reasons cited for working hard, parental pressures for achievement, need for making parents proud, not embarrassing family, and sacrifices made by the family for educational pursuits, variables that have often been used and supported by anecdotal examples to explain Asian achievements. Only on one response was there a significant group difference: Asian Americans were more likely to believe that success in life has to do with the things studied in school. This belief was directly related to high school grades. The inability to find variables that could explain the success of Asian American students led the investigators to conclude: "Something associated with being Asian is having a positive impact on school performance independent of the family process variables that may work so well in predicting performance among Whites" (Ritter & Dornbusch, 1989, p. 7). Other Findings Implications of Relative Functionalism n The academic achievements of Asian Americans cannot be solely attributed to Asian cultural values. Rather, as for other ethnic minority groups, their behavioral patterns, including achievements, are a product of cultural values (i.e., ethnicity) and status in society (minority group standing). Using the notion of relative functionalism, we believe that the educational attainments of Asian Americans are highly influenced by the opportunities present for upward mobility, not only in educational endeavors but also in non-educational areas. non"Noneducational areas" include career activities such as leadership, entertainment, sports, politics, etc., where education does not directly lead to the position. To the extent that mobility is limited in non -educational avenues, education becomes increasingly salient as a means of mobility. That is, education is increasingly functional as a means for mobility when these other avenues are blocked. n 19 Propositions n First, similar to the cultural explanation, relative functionalism assumes that there is in any particular group, a drive for upward mobility, and that cultural values and practices can affect educational attainments. Second, when opportunities for upward mobility are limited or are perceived to be limited in other areas, educational achievements should increase. This is particularly true with groups that are culturally-oriented toward education culturallyand have experienced academic success. Third, trying to change American educational values and practices in the direction of Asian values may result in only small increments in educational attainments, since mainstream Americans have other avenues of mobility. n n Other Views n Suzuki (1977) has also taken issue with a cultural interpretation of their success. Although acknowledging that respect for education is a cultural value among these two groups, he also advanced the proposition that Asian Americans came to pursue education because of their status as a minority group. Many labor unions discriminated against Asians, refusing them union membership during the 1940s. In addition, technological advancements and an expanding economy after World War II required educated professionals and white collar employees. Thus, one development limited occupational opportunities for manual laborers, and the other placed a premium on professionalprofessionaltechnical skills requiring advanced education. In such a situation, mobility via education took increased significance, above and beyond the contributions of Asian cultural values. Using a similar argument, Connor (1975) attributed the high educational attainments of Japanese Americans to the denial of opportunities to participate in social and other extracurricular school activities in the pre -World War II period. This also set the stage for emphasizing educational achievements. n Support Support for the Theory n First, relative functionalism and the cultural thesis would predict decreasing educational achievements with acculturation of Asian Americans. However, each differs in the factors that account for decrements in performance. One proposes that increased opportunities for mobility make education a less preferred avenue for mobility, while the other assumes that a loss of cultural values is responsible for decreased achievement levels. Is there evidence that opportunities for mobility influence achievements? Second, relative functionalism assumes that limitations in mobility in nonnon -educational endeavors influences educational levels. Is it possible that educational values and attainments affect interest or performance in non -educational means of mobility? Third, is there evidence that Asian Americans perceive or experience limitations in non -educational avenues for mobility? n n 20 Evidence n Unfortunately, critical tests comparing the cultural and relative functionalism models have not been conducted. Dornbusch et al. (1987) and Ritter and Dornbusch (1989) have found that Asian American achievement levels tend to be inversely related to the number of generations in the United States, apparently supporting a cultural interpretation (i.e., decreased maintenance of Asian cultural values results in lower academic grades). With increased acculturation, it has been assumed that Asian values of hard work, discipline, and respect for education have eroded. However, an inverse relationship between acculturation to American values and academic achievements is not incompatible with relative functionalism. Increased acculturation also results in more avenues for mobility. For example, Sue and Zane (1985) found that recent Chinese immigrants were significantly more likely than acculturated Chinese to agree with the statement that their choices of academic majors were influenced by their English skills. n Some Some Support n In a survey of Asian American students at the University of California, Berkeley, Ong (1976) found that respondents cited, as reasons for obtaining an education, ability to make money, increasing the chances for a better job, and the difficulty in finding other avenues for advancement because of discrimination. Hirschman and Wong (1986) have argued that "Education was a channel for the social mobility of Asians, partly because they were frozen out of some sectors of the economy..." (p. 23). n Belief Belief Systems n More specifically, Ogbu and Matute-Bianchi (1986) have Matuteproposed that individuals develop folk theories of success (e.g., "If I get a good education, I will be able to succeed in getting a good job and a high standard of living" or "Even if I get a good education, people will discriminate against me"). Factors such as cultural values, discrimination, past success, beliefs in self-efficacy, availability of successful selfrole models, etc., influence the folk theories. Mickelson (1990) has found that while Blacks hold favorable abstract attitudes concerning the value of education, they are less likely than Whites to believe in the value of education in their own lives. As mentioned previously, Ritter and Dornbusch (1987) found that Asian Americans tended to believe that success in life has to do with the things studied in school. The folk theory for Asian Americans may be, "If I study hard, I can succeed and education is the best way to succeed." n 21 Sue & Zane Academic Achievement n Achievement and level of acculturation n Student Groups 1. American born 2. Foreign born (US > 6yrs.) 3. Foreign born (US < 6yrs.) ABC n= 83 EFC n= 48 RFC n= 43 Scholastic Aptitude Test 1. ABC 2. EFC 3. RFC % English Verbal % Quantitative 69 78 47 72 18 81 AB Verbal Quant. EI RI T 52 77 69 > 47 > 18 >18 ---- 22 Grades and Course Load Grade Point Average (academic achievement) Chinese (2.99) > Others (2.90) No differences among Chinese Units (course load) 1. ABC 77.0 2. EFC 69.8 3. RFC 43.3 Getting Ahead Strategies MAJORS Social Science Math/Comp. Science CHOICE English Parents Income Interest Prestige RI > AB = EI ---RI = EI > AB RI > AB = EI AB > EI = RI RI > AB = EI STUDY SKILLS Hours Are Predictors for Asian and European Americans the Same? College Board Study of UC Campuses n Use high school grades, SAT scores, and achievement test scores to predict subsequent grades (after first year at UC) n Issue of whether same prediction formula is best for different groups n 23 Variables Examined The criterion variable was the university freshman grade point average, which was the average of all grades received by a student during the academic year. Six predictor variables were used for the GPA: 1. High school grade point average (HSGPA) calculated from courses such as English, history, mathematics, laboratory science, and foreign language 2. Scholastic Aptitude Test-verbal score Test3. Scholastic Aptitude Test-mathematical score Test4. English Composition score from the College Board 5. Achievement Test series Level I or Level II Mathematics Test (MI or MII) score from the College Board Achievement Test series Table 1. Group Means and Standard Deviations for Each Variable by Gender and Ethnicity SATSAT - V M Males All Asian American Chinese Japanese Korean Filipino East Indian/ Pakistani Other Asian American White 462.5 (2,050) 477.5 (742) 516.8 (310) 432.6 (284) 459.2 (321) 538.8 (96) 373.2 (289) 519.0 (471) SD 117.5 116.1 89.9 118.2 89.7 97.2 119.1 89.5 SATSAT - M M SD 609.6 (2,050) 632.4 (742) 632.0 (310) 626.5 (284) 547.7 (321) 635.5 (96) 572.0 (289) 607.0 (471) 92.2 87.0 75.5 84.5 86.6 84.3 92.9 84.7 HSGPA M 3.67 (2,023) 3.69 (724) 3.72 (303) 3.63 (280) 3.55 (328) 3.79 (99) 3.70 (281) 3.53 (456) SD 0.39 0.38 0.39 0.37 0.40 0.37 0.34 0.42 Table 1. Group Means and Standard Deviations for Each Variable by Gender and Ethnicity SATSAT - V M Females* All Asian American Chinese Japanese Korean Filipino Other Asian American White 449.8 (2,063) 469.3 (728) 505.1 (333) 403.4 (291) 439.0 (391) 373.5 (236) 506.0 (489) SD 116.7 119.6 90.1 119.7 92.1 115.8 87.4 (333) 562.3 (291) 496.3 (391) 535.9 (236) 548.0 (489) SATSAT - M M SD 559.3 (2,063) 590.9 (728) 97.8 92.8 577.6 90.8 92.9 90.7 86.5 HSGPA M SD 3.71 (2,052) 3.77 (722) 86.6 (335) 3.65 (285) 3.57 (390) 3.73 (235) 3.64 (489) 0.36 0.35 3.77 0.35 0.38 0.34 0.38 0.34 24 Totals SATSAT - V M All Asian American Chinese Japanese Korean Filipino East Indian/ Pakistani Other Asian American White 456.1 (4,113) 473.4 (1,470) 510.8 (643) 417.8 (575) 448.1 (712) 520.0 (170) 373.3 512.4 (960) SD 117.3 117.9 90.1 119.8 91.5 101.1 117.5 (525) 88.6 SATSAT - M M SD 584.4 (4,113) 611.8 (1,470) 603.8 (643) 594.0 (575) 519.5 (712) 605.8 (170) 555.8 576.9 (960) 98.3 92.3 85.8 93.4 93.6 93.8 93.6 (525) 90.5 HSGPA M SD 3.69 (4,075) 3.73 (1,446) 3.75 (638) 3.64 (565) 3.56 (718) 3.80 (175) 3.72 3.59 (945) 0.37 0.37 0.36 0.36 0.39 0.37 0.34 (516) 0.41 Estimated Proportional Contributions of SAT -V SATScores, SAT -M Scores, and HSGPA to Regression SATEquation Totals All Asian American Chinese Japanese Korean Filipino East Indian/ Pakistani Other Asian American White N 3,730 1,316 585 519 680 159 455 848 R .498 .532 .442 .408 .391 .545 .515 .451 SE .57 .54 .57 .59 .56 .56 .57 .54 V .03 .00 .13 .03 .29 .29 .01 .32 M .36 .35 .20 .27 .11 .11 .54 .03 GPA .61 .65 .67 .70 .60 .60 .45 .65 Proportional Proportional Contributions of SAT-V Score, SAT-M Score, SATSATand HSGPA on to Regression Equation by Ethnicity, Major, and Language N Undeclared Asian American White Professional schools* Asian American Physical sciences* Asian American Life sciences Asian American White Humanities* Asian American Engineering Asian American White Social sciences* Asian American White English best English not best 1,958 440 63 222 690 130 94 526 69 177 96 2,472 1,258 R .492 .451 .563 .491 .560 .561 .516 .435 .563 .488 .534 .505 .490 SE .57 .56 .55 .57 .57 .48 .51 .56 .51 .55 .50 .57 .56 SATSAT -V .07 .39 .00 .09 .01 .34 .03 .16 .01 .20 .12 .17 .11 SATSAT -M .34 .04 .35 .30 .36 .03 .37 .44 .04 .21 .21 .22 .38 HSGPA .60 .57 .64 .61 .62 .63 .60 .40 .95 .59 .67 .61 .50 * Number of white students in sample was too small for analysis. 25 Prediction of University Freshman GPA using White Students' Regression Equation(s) with SAT-V Score, SATSATSAT -M Score, and HSGPA All Asian American Chinese Japanese Korean Filipino East Indian/ Pakistani Other Asian American White Predicted Predicted 2.72 2.77 2.82 2.64 2.63 2.86 2.63 2.73 Actual 2.74 2.89 2.73 2.68 2.44 2.86 2.78 2.75 Difference -.02 -.12 +.09 -.04 +.19 0 -.15 -.02 Critical Questions (Jared Diamond) n n n n Why do some societies dominate others? Why do some societies become industrialized while others stay relatively primitive and continue hunting and gathering? Why did Western Europeans conquer the Americas rather than Native Americans conquering Europe? Are people in industrialized societies more intelligent than those from primitive societies? Time to Develop n Perhaps longer history accounts for more advanced development. Americas were relatively late in being populated. No, African subcontinent had earliest, modern humans. n 26 Intelligence n Perhaps people in industrialized societies are smarter than those uncivilized societies. Yali’s question: “Why do some people have more ‘cargo’? n Direct Explanations Western societies more aggressive. No, aborigines may constantly fight. n Western societies had horses, possessed guns, and developed steel and other weapons n Western societies dominated New World because of germs that decimated native populations. n Explanations n Proximate Causes—explanations that directly Causes— affect an outcome. Western Europeans dominated the Americas because they had advanced weapons and horses. (But why did Western Europeans have advanced weapons and horses while Native Americans did not?) Why did germs decimate populations in the Americas but not Europe? Ultimate Causes —explanations for the proximate Causes— causes and the outcomes. n 27 Ultimate Cause n Food production and domestication of plants and animals rather than hunting and gathering Food n n Importance of domestication of plants and animals: Putting plants and animals to human use and breeding for improved use (as opposed to taming where you control but do not breed). Advantages of animal domestication: n n n n n n Food Production of other foods (eggs, milk, etc.) Work (horses, hunting dogs, plow animals) Transportation Leather, bone tools, etc. Feces for fertilization and burning fuel Food Food n Advantages of plant domestication n Breed for bigger and better fruits and vegetables n Sedentary n Grow life more food per acre n Storage of food n Material benefits (wood, twine, leaves, bowls) 28 Ultimate Cause: Food Views of Jared Diamond n n n n n Greater food production, people can devote time doing other things; division of labor (boats, literacy, maps, weapons, standing armies); increase further food production Population growth More population, greater density, contract more germs, develop immunity to germs, survival of fittest Rapid spread to other countries and introduce germs for which others have no immunity; vast majority of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders perished from germs than from guns Less than a hundred Spanish soldiers conquered thousands of Aztecs Conquering Others Food Production Sedentary life Division of labor Increased population Centralized government Inventions & technology writing Standing army Germs and immunity Act in unity Weapons & transportation Professional force Pass germs to others Act in unison for self interest Conquer and dominate Why Some Societies Domesticate Sooner Than Others? Animals n n n n n n n n Availability Size and calories Usefulness Temperament (aggressive or fearful) and ability to tame Nonterritorial and herding tendency Food consumption and diet Ease of breeding, survival, and numbers Rate of maturation Plants n n n n n n n n n Availability Climate Soil Taste, nutritional value, useable/unusable ratio of plant Ease of picking fruits (thorns, inaccessible) Robust (survival despite environmental conditions) Usefulness (eating, use of fibers or leaves or wood, medicinal value) Growth rate and annual yield Ease of propagation 29 Guns, Germs, & Steel (Diamond) Ultimate Factors Proximate Factors E - W Axis Easy movement of animals Large, complex societies Politics writing germs Numerous domesticated plants & animals Food surplus & storage Technology Guns Steel Ships Various suitable, wild animals horses Implications n n n n Tendency to think that advancement due to intelligence Industrialized people not necessarily smarter Skills required in hunting and gathering societies make people from industrialized societies look stupid From evolutionary perspective, people not selected in industrialized societies (advanced medical care, prevention and nutrition, etc.); however, in hunting and gathering societies, weak, unintelligent, unhealthy can be selected out (Diamond) Implications Development of societies caused by food and not intelligence n Some societies “lucky” by having the right geography and animals and plants for domestication n 30 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2011 for the course ASA 3 taught by Professor Sue during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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