Date of Award

Winter 1-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Mimi Rosenberg


The author, who herself identifies as Asian American, engages in a personal exploration of her own and others’ experiences of being Asian in America.Through a review of the literature of documented stereotypes of Asian Americans as well as interviews the author conducted with five women who identify as Asian-American, an examination of what it means to be Asian American is presented. Futher, consideration of the impact of international and interracial adoption experiences on the identity development of adoptees from East Asian countries is explored through two of the interviewees’ experiences who were adopted as well the author’s own experience of international and interracial adoption.

Two major themes are emphasized based on their prominence in both the literature and the interview data. The first theme is that there are many “ways to be Asian”. And the second theme is that the prevalence of inaccurate and damaging assumptions and stereotypes when applied to individuals has serious and far reaching consequences.

Some of the widely documented and damaging stereotypes that are examined closely through the five interviewee’s own reports include Asian excellence, the model minority myth, “tiger mother” parenting styles, perfect mental health, and the compliant, quiet, reserved personality type.

The author concludes with an extremely timely demand for change and a call to action, especially in light of recent Asian hate incidents. The urgency of the implications for teachers to be more racially aware and open minded are also addressed.


Childhood General and Special Education