Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Vialle, W. (2013). The 'Tiger Mother' factor: Curriculum, schooling and mentoring of Asian students in an Australian context. In S. N. Phillipson, H. Stoeger & A. Ziegler (Eds.), Exceptionality in East Asia (pp. 147-166). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.


There is evidence from a range of sources that indicates that South and East Asian background students are academically outperforming their peers in Australian primary and secondary schools (see, for example, Khoo and Birrell, 2002; Marks et al., 2000; Mcinerney, 2008; Paar and Mok, 1995). This evidence ranges from tertiary enrolment figures and the enrolment statistics of academically selective programs, through to school achievement records and research studies. Several explanations for the superior academic outcomes have been posited by researchers. These have included their work ethic, motivation and aspirations, and the support and expectations of their parents. While these explanations have some appeal for educators, they have not been brought together into one theoretical construct. Therefore, this chapter will examine these differences between the South and East Asian background students and their peers in Australian schools through the analytical lenses of the actiotope model of giftedness (Ziegler, 2005) and its logical companion, a systemic approach to giftedness (Ziegler and Phillipson, 2012).