Different Worlds with Common Goals: How Chinese-American and African- American Parents Influence the Academic Achievement of Their Children

By Tyrone Tanner.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This qualitative case study sought to explore how Chinese-American and African-American parents influence the academic achievement of their children. Over the past decade, numerous studies suggest that Chinese-American parents significantly influence their children’s academic success. In juxtaposition to the Chinese-American academic achievement rate is the academic plight of many African-American children. African-American children suffer substantially higher academic failure rates and school dropout percentages.

This research study examined the parents of both academically successful Chinese-American and African-American students, exploring the influence of culture on the respective groups’ academic achievement. The study addressed the historical, social, and political underpinnings of both groups and their respective confidence in America’s educational institution. The findings from this research will be instrumental to parents, school officials, and government agencies as they continue to seek new strategies to successfully educate our youth.

Ten themes or findings emerged from this study: Parental transmission of cultural values, home environment, early academic foundation, role modeling, limited school participation, parent and peer networks, holding school and children accountable, protecting self-esteem, discipline, and system navigation strategies. In addition, the two cultures revealed varying degrees of trust in the education system, with African-Americans demonstrating less trust.

Keywords: Academic Achievement, Parenting, Education

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.133-142. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 945.348KB).

Dr. Tyrone Tanner

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA

Prior to joining Texas Southern University, Dr. Tanner's experience included working as a consultant (leadership, diversity, and urban school reform), high school and middle school principal, Urban school personnel director, and high school teacher. He recieved his Doctorate of Education from the University of Houston, a Master of Education in School Administration and Supervision from Southern University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Social Studies/Education from Newberry College.


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