Complicating the image of model minority success: A review of southeast asian american education

Bic Ngo, Stacey J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations


Similar to other Asian American students, Southeast Asian American students are often stereotyped by the popular press as hardworking and high-achieving model minorities. On the other hand, Southeast Asian American youth are also depicted as low-achieving high school dropouts involved in gangs. The realities of academic performance and persistence among Southeast Asian American students are far more complex than either image suggests. This article explores the various explanations for the struggles, successes, and educational experiences of Southeast Asian students. To highlight differences across ethnic groups, we review the literature on each Southeast Asian ethnic group separately and examine the successes and continuing struggles facing firstand second-generation Vietnamese American, Cambodian American, Hmong American, and Lao American students in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-453
Number of pages39
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Academic achievement
  • Cambodian American education
  • Hmong American education
  • Lao American education
  • Model minority
  • Southeast Asian American education
  • Vietnamese American education


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