The Pygmalion Effect of the Filial Piety on Immigrant Children: The Influence on Asian American Students

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2017


Asian American students are generally perceived as high achievers and do well in academics (Zhao, 2011). Often times they are observed as being hard working, diligent, highly motivated, and show much greater respect to their teachers and peers (Sue & Abe, 2008). In 2011, International Study of Science and Mathematics (Martin, Mullis, Foy, & Stanco, 2011) and International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (Mullis, Martin, Foy, & Arora et al., 2011) reported Asian Americans are found to surpass their American counterparts on standardized achievement tests. Some postulate a strong positive correlation between learning motivation of Asian American students and the Asian culture (Hong & Salili, 2000; Sue & Abe, 2008) in which children's academic success is largely dependent upon their parental expectations and family backgrounds based on the practice of filial piety's philosophy (Chow & Chu, 2007) which is rooted in the Confucius philosophy.