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Re: [teacherartexchange] Korean Mothers vs American mothers


From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Apr 15 2009 - 06:55:17 PDT


First of all I hope you read my correction to the language research.
I remembered the broadcast wrong - so I looked it up.
For anyone interested you can go to this NPR link and
listen to the author explaining it correctly:
I just reversed the two languages.

My experiences with asian students in america seems to fit the
stereotype - yet I'm sure there are many variations. While the asian
students took and excelled in art classes in middle school - few
in art when they got to high school. They tended to take math and
science classes. Their parents influence to go into professions of
prestige and where they could make money was a strong factor.
I remember one very strong student who wanted to go to dental
college. Her parents wanted her to be a lawyer or a doctor. She
ended up leaving home and living with a teacher's family so she
could go to dental school. It's hard to go against ones parents.

Once I had a visiting artist in my classroom. He was originally
from Vietnam. Now he was pursuing a very successful career
as a watercolor artist. His family had been very disappointed
with his decision to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. He told
me they were just beginning to speak again.

Of course these two examples just reinforce the stereotype of
asian families. I know of many exceptions. And, all asian cultures
do not value and stress education the same way. I had many
Hmong students who left school very early to get married. One
girl who was at the top of her class and should have gone to
college left at 14 to marry a boy her parents choose. The family
even moved to a state where early marriage was legal. She wrote
me a few times trying to explain that this was their way. My own
cultural background had a hard time excepting this.

I could of course stereotype many american families for their
neglect of their children's education or how they drive their
kids too hard. We pride ourselves in letting our children find
their own course - but that is a stereotype too. I hope my grandkids
are driven from within as well as from their families to succeed.
But more importantly I hope they grow up to be happy.

                More of my opinion, Woody

Good luck with your book.

On Apr 14, 2009, at 11:54 PM, LetsartAndy wrote:

> Dear Woody,
> Thank you for your thoughtful and rich experience for my question.
> Indeed I agree with you in how children think in their behavier and
> thinking process as their different cultural
> background as well as language.
> It is very resourceful. I am not trying to make a stereotype of
> western and eastern. What I am interested and
> trying to let Korean mothers and teacher is basically how to
> nurture creative children.
> You see many Korean mothers are strong driven in their children's
> education. That's perhaps good part of
> them. However, sometime mothers decide short cuts, easy way to
> become success(?). They make all the plan for
> their children's educational plan from toddlers to high school.
> They exactly planned daily schedule as well.
> Most of Korean children and youth have no time playing. The plan
> is tight and accurate in their own rights but I feel
> that majority of mothers get false information which not match
> quite well for their own unique individualities.
> That's why I wanna make some argument case to think about for
> Korean parenets and teachers.
> Thank you so much for your support and if you may allow me I would
> like to keep ask you some your experience.
> Sincerely yours,
> Andy Lee from Korea.

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

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