ERIC Number: ED396014
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
A Guide to Communicating with Asian American Families. For Parents/about Parents.
The enrollment of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) students is increasing rapidly, so it is important for school personnel and community members to learn to communicate with API families. This guide describes how the backgrounds and cultures of the various API groups affect their attitudes and behavior. The three general ethnicities within the API community are Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians, and East Asians. It is important not to generalize an understanding of one group to another. In general, however, APIs see teachers as professionals with authority over their children's schooling. They believe that parents should not interfere and may regard teachers who seek parent participation as incompetent. East Asians in particular value formal education and may place high expectations on their children. Language may be a barrier to many API children, and cultures pose many opportunities for misunderstanding. Good communication depends on respect for API cultural beliefs, communication in person rather than in writing, clear communication of such details as meeting times, and maintaining a professional's role. Explaining aspects of American culture, especially that parent participation is a tradition in American schools, can be very helpful. To avoid putting unnecessary pressure on API students, it is important to reject the stereotype that most Asian students are gifted and that APIs are generally docile. School personnel and community leaders should work with local API organizations to enhance communication. (SLD)
Descriptors: Asian Americans, Communication Skills, Communication (Thought Transfer), Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Elementary Secondary Education, Multicultural Education, Pacific Americans, Parent Attitudes, Parent Participation, Parent Role, Parent School Relationship, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.
Note: Based on "Beyond Culture: Communicating with Asian American Children and Families," a digest published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education. For related documents, see UD 030 946-958.