OutreachWe lead the effort to understand & improve South Asian American students’ experiences.
Learn MoreAbout Our Mission
Many South Asian Americans report not feeling connected to school, not feeling as supported by teachers as they needed to be, and not having ideal experiences as students. And many report that their teachers did not understand them or their backgrounds, and seemed to believe the “model minority stereotype.” We aim to improve South Asian American students’ experiences, in K-12 and beyond, through research into students’ experiences, outreach efforts to spread awareness and build buy-in, and promoting teacher cultural proficiency by sharing information with teachers, and working with school districts to offer professional development.
We lead the effort to improve South Asian American students’ experiences by disseminating findings, sharing resources, and building relationships.
We are at the forefront of conducting research to better understand and support and improve South Asian American students’ experiences.
We develop resources and services for educators, work closely with school systems, and distribute information to improve cultural proficiency.
We lead the effort to improve South Asian American students’ experiences through outreach, disseminating data, and building partnerships.
While teachers all over the nation receive cultural proficiency training, research finds…
70% of South Asian Americans felt teachers could have better supported their needs in school.
See The Data
Dr. Rice’s Study on South Asian American K-12 ExperiencesSee the findings.
The study’s primary component is a survey of South Asian Americans (n=85) reflecting on their perceptions of K-12 experiences. The survey includes quantitative as well as constructed response components. The study also includes an exploratory survey of teachers, and a group interview.
Selected results from the study are included in a report in order to outline the experiences of South Asian American students, particularly as impacted by teachers’ low cultural competence. The key findings suggest that ultimately, there is room for improving South Asian American students’ experiences.
It may also result in teachers assuming South Asian American students are more intelligent, or mature than peers of other groups. In addition to contributing to intergroup conflicts, this can also result in less support given to South Asian American students — academic, and socioemotional.
However, most (77.7%) South Asian American participants in Dr. Rice’s study felt teachers believed the model minority stereotype, and seemed to assume that they, and individuals like them, were smarter than peers from other cultural groups. Further, most (70.6%) participants felt teachers could have better supported them or their academic needs.
However, participants reported wanting support in areas such as: individual help, review, chunking of instructions, check-ins on progress, time management skills support, organization support, and reminders. In many such cases, teachers did not provide supports to South Asian American students.
Additionally, most (81.2%) felt teachers knew less about them than about their peers.
Learn about ourKey Initiatives.
Learn about ourPartnershipsLearn More
We work closely with and school systems to share resources and develop strategies for improving student experiences. Click here to learn More.
We connect with community organizations and South Asian focused organizations to collaborate and maximize outreach. Click here to learn more.
Become a sponsor
All costs incurred in running and maintaining ISAASE, developing resources, or presenting findings, is currently self-funded by its volunteers. Please visit our Patreon to become a sponsor, or please contact us if you would like to extend support in helping us secure further funding.
Dr. Punita Rice
Founder & Director
Dr. Rice is the founder and director of ISAASE, and is a writer and educator based in Maryland. Her research and writing is focused on the experiences of South Asian American student experiences. You can learn more about her at her website, PunitaRice.com.
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