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Some immigrants are refugees from countries torn apart by war, others from the middle class of stable countries. Asian-Americans are generally stereotyped as successful, law-abiding, and high-achieving minorities. Some came with nothing, others with skills and affluence (Brand, 1987). The success of many Asian-American students has created a new "model minority" stereotype. They have been described in popular and professional literature as "whiz kids," and as "problem free." Some claim that Asians are smarter than other groups; others believe there is something in Asian culture that breeds success, perhaps Confucian ideas that stress family values and education (Brand, 1987).

The "whiz kids" image is a misleading stereotype that masks individuality and conceals real problems.

If Asian students are viewed as instant successes, there is less justification for assisting those who may need help.

The result may be neglect, isolation, delinquency, and inadequate preparation for the labor market among those students.

Asian-Americans constitute a significant minority in the U. and are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in this country, yet little is known about their particular educational needs, especially at the early childhood and elementary levels. EJ 379 981.----- References identified with an ED (ERIC document) or EJ (ERIC journal) number are cited in the ERIC database. the opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of OERI.

This digest provides information to help teachers gain a better understanding of Asian-American children, particularly those from East and Southeast Asian cultures, and identify culturally appropriate educational practices to use with those children. Most documents are available in ERIC microfiche collections at more than 825 locations worldwide, and can be ordered through EDRS: (800) 443-ERIC. ERIC Digests are in the public domain and may be freely reproduced.

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