Why some racial groups seem to do better than the others academically?

I have read the article What is the secret to Asian academic success? recently on SMH. What do you guys think, is this true? Article propose that some racial groups do better academically in America compare to the others. I only want to discuss this based on academicals performance not slide into the usual arguments people tend to slide into around this.

The racial groups make up between Australia and America is very different, yet there are a lot of similarities between two as well, particularly as a lot of minorities are recent immigrants. I think it is not a surprise for most to hear that a lot of Asians do well academically at all levels of schools in Australia. The question we need to ask is why that is case what drives them to excel academically. Also to clarify Asian in Australia generally referred as people from East and South East Asia majority of the time. Rest of part of Asian tend to be classified differently.

The article listed out a number of reasons why the author think that is the case, I will let you read those. Following is what I think what lead to Asian value Academical success highly.

  1. Asians in Australia almost always tend to be comparatively recent immigrants, as new immigrants they generally lack the social network that longer term residents enjoyed. Academicals success is the most easily measured and quantified compare to other areas. For many 1.5 and 2nd generation immigrants, the quickest path for upward social mobility is achieved through academic success.
  2. Education is valued highly in East Asia historically. Historically East Asian society is dominated by bureaucrats and the most common path to become one for common people is to pass the imperial examinations. This has create somewhat a culture that put a lot of emphasis with academic success and the pursuit of it.
  3. In my personal experience most of Asian parents in Australia whether due to their personal or cultural background pay great attention to their children’s education, this directly translate to academic success to a large degree. Certainly as in the article that very high percentage of the recent immigrants are highly educated and wish their children achieve the same success that they had.
  4. Competitive culture, I speculate due to the density and large size of population in East Asian, countries like Japan, Korea, China etc have been culturally very competitive. Tuition classes are in my view the most directly manifestation of this competitiveness.
  5. For better or worse many Asian parents wanted to see their children doing the best that they could with their abilities, whether that be academic or in other areas. I suspect this in large is due to the hardship many had endured in their own youth and do not wish their children having to do the same.

Asians do a lot of things that normal westerns may perceive to be extreme or borderline crazy in pursuit of better education/future for their children. One good example is purchase of properties that falls within the catchments of top ranked public schools, so their children could attend. Fortunately I suppose in Sydney that catchment for top public schools tend to fall into traditionally desirable suburbs to live as well.

With personal experience I think this large apply in the first to second generation, more generation the children has been in Australia less apparent this phenomenon is. Within a few generation this effect is much less so and most of Asian children performance in Academic aren’t that different compare to general population anymore.

Anyway enough of my ranting with things at work are crazy busy for me recently and hopefully will get more time to do updates soon.





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