Author(s): Christina Ho
The children of Asian migrants are often perceived to be perfect students: ambitious, studious and compliant. They are remarkably successful—routinely outperforming other students in exams, dominating selective school intakes, and disproportionately winning places at prestigious universities. While their hard work and success have been praised, their achievements have ignited fierce debates about whether their migrant parents are ‘pushing too hard’, or whether they ought to be lauded for their commitment to education. Critics see a dark side, symbolised by the ‘tiger mother’ who is obsessed with producing overachieving ‘dragon children’.
What is often missing in these debates is an understanding of what drives Asian migrant parents’ approaches to education. This book explores how aspirations for their children’s future reinforce theiranxieties about being newcomers in an unequal society.