Understanding the difference in educational experiences for Chinese American students and their parents

The high level of academic achievement of Asian immigrants' children has attracted a great deal of attention from media and scholars. As the largest minority group in the US, the educational experience of Chinese American students deserves more research attention, and it is different from that of their Chinese parents. In this study, a grounded theory approach with open-ended interviewing was used as the dominant collection method for a qualitative study to illuminate voices and stories that are unobtainable from a quantitative investigation. From the different educational experiences in Chinese American students and their parents, this study showed that educational experiences impacted Chinese immigrant parents and led them to have high educational expectations for their children. This expectation became a crucial motivation of Chinese American students for their academic achievement. This study also showed that peers might influence Chinese American students' achievement. In addition, non-academic activities and personal interests also played important roles in aiding Chinese American students' school performance. This qualitative study may enhance our understanding on Chinese culture and Chinese American students' schooling. KEYWORDS: Academic Achievement, Chinese American Students, Chinese Immigrant Parents, Educational Experiences, Educational Expectations.