A cultural–historical study of Hong Kong–Australian children's learning and development within everyday family practices

Pui Ling Wong
The children of the Hong Kong immigrant community in Australia achieve highly in terms of academic results and become highly skilled professionals in comparison with other immigrant groups and the local population. Despite these outstanding achievements, little research has investigated the processes of development of children in this group. While much of the literature on Chinese heritage students suggests that the parental support for and emphasis on learning has helped secure their success,
more » ... ittle is known from the children's perspectives about how they acquire the competencies and develop a learning motive for academic success. Stereotypes pervade the debate about the possible effects of high parental demands, yet little is known about the real underlying relationship between these children's achievement and their environmental affordances. This study investigates the ways parental demands and family practices provide conditions and possibilities for children's learning and development, how children perceive and make sense of these and how they contribute to their own learning and development. Conducted in Melbourne, Australia, the study adopted an in-depth qualitative case study approach following the cultural–historical paradigm and employing dialectical-interactive methodology. Six parents and seven children participated from three Hong Kong–Australian families. The parents had been raised and had their schooling in Hong Kong and had migrated to Australia between 2 and 15 years prior to the study. The children ranged between 0 and 11 years of age; among them one child was born in Hong Kong and the other six children were born in Melbourne, Australia. One family was sending their children to a government school, one to an independent Christian school and one to a prestigious private school. Data were collected for 12 months through video observations of children's participation in their everyday activities at home and in their communities, interviews with parents and children, field notes, and photographs, [...]
doi:10.4225/03/58b505a63a4cc fatcat:lbgnkyr2xfay7fz2gs6yjgytzy