ERIC Number: ED477539
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Familiar Foreign: Hmong American Students Engaging and Resisting America.
Focus groups with Hmong American undergraduates examined their educational experiences in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Over 25 years after the first Hmong refugees arrived, cultural difference is still used to explain the status of Hmong communities. Hmong children are said to be excelling in school, though reports do not consider the high numbers of limited English proficient Hmong students who cannot take standardized tests. Hmong American students are often caught between many competing images of who they are and what their history is about. Profound cultural differences of neo-racism are often used to explain their educational experiences. They are constructed as being American in name but not possessing the cultural qualities needed to truly succeed as Americans. Students reported that their parents considered any departure from Hmong tradition a step toward delinquency. They noted that many of their teachers and administrators had little knowledge of Hmong culture or history, and they felt an extreme disconnect between home and school. Race was a central influence upon their schooling. Hmong American paraprofessionals were sometimes hired to further communication with parents and students, but students considered them ineffective. Maneuvering the borders of race, culture, class, and citizenship left these students feeling confused and often alone. (Contains 21 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 21-25, 2003).