Discussion Post!

Posted on February 26th, 2014 by

Hello group!

So, as most of you know already,  I am one of the co-presidents for the Hmong American Cultural Outreach group on campus. Yesterday, we discussed this data as a club to see where people’s thoughts were. The data shows the different sub-groups of Asian Americans and how Hmong, Cambodian, and Laotian are the three lowest percentages in terms of having a bachelor’s degree, and the highest for having lower than a high school diploma. We talked about the factors of having different education systems from the home countries versus the United States, the smaller amount of time of generations in the United States compared to other groups such as Chinese and Japanese Americans.


What are your thoughts on the data and how do you think we could possibly address these as future educators?




  1. Emilie Scott says:

    Thank you for your insight, Laura! I agree that we need to understand the cultural background of students and know that we cannot assume the same for every family. It has been great learning more about Kou’s family who is Hmong but also all of the Hmong students at Gustavus who I have been able to get to know better. All of these personal connections have helped me learn about the thinking of the Hmong people, especially those who have come to the US at different times. I think that we as teachers should all try to make friendships and relationships with people outside of our own culture in order to have greater growth and understanding.

  2. Laura Flicek says:

    Thanks for posting this, Emilie! I read the data and am very intrigued by it. I took Human Relations in Education with Sidonia, and we were lucky enough to have three Hmong students come in and talk about what their experiences were like attending schools in the US. We learned that tradition is very important in Hmong culture, and that with a lot of youths’ parents, it is not okay to assimilate to American culture. When their values clash with our education system, it can be very hard for us to teach those students. I believe that as teachers we need to become educated on their culture so that we know how to be respectful to their values, and tailor our teaching so it is most beneficial for them! In addition, simply knowing that these groups are statistically less likely to go to college, we can try even harder to reach them in our classrooms! Constant encouragement is necessary. As far as tailoring our teaching, I stumbled upon YIPA, Youth Intervention Programs Association, and they held a training, with Hmong American Partnership, on teaching Hmong students–giving a plethora of information on the culture, current struggles that Hmong students are enduring, and best instructional strategies. Attending trainings like this one seems to be a great way to reach out for help!