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Jacob Schlaefer

Ethnicity and Race Report


Dr. Nicholas Wysocki

Vang, H., & Barrera, M. T. (2005). Hmong Parents Perceptions on Instructional

Strategies for Educating their Children with Disabilities. Hmong Studies Journal, 5, pp.

1-20.

Wathum-Ocama, J. C., & Rose, S. (2002). Hmong Immigrants' Views on the Education

of Their Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. American Annals of the Deaf, 147(3), pp.

44-53.

My Rational for Choosing the Hmong People: I have decided to choose the Hmong people due
to the fact that they widely populate the twin cities area where I plan to be an educator.
Furthermore, I have selected a study about Hmong children with exceptionalities where I plan to
specialize my teaching. I specifically chose the ethnic group because there is a very good chance
I will be working with one or more of these individuals and it would be beneficial for me to
know more about the ethnic group in relation to the opinions of Hmong Parents.
Authors credibility: There are four various contributors to this text with three of the individuals
having PHDs and the other being of Hmong ethnicity. The individuals were researching Hmong
cultures in California specifically the central area, however, though this is not the area of
Minnesota, I feel the information can still be beneficial for my future, yet I should not take the
information as solid for all Hmong peoples and Cultures.
Authors rationale for writing this article: The Authors aim here to show how Hmong parents
view physicals exceptionalities in their children as well as to review Hmong beliefs on health
and the literature behind that. These authors worked to present a paper where they could analyze
how these Hmong parents and their culture views children with physical exceptionalities.
Authors central argument quoted directly from the papers abstract: Differing and
sometimes conflicting perceptions about physical disabilities have resulted in painful
misunderstandings between Hmong families and Wester health providers. The aim of this paper
is to present a review of some of the Hmong health belief literature concerning physical
disabilities in children (Vang, H., & Barrera, M. T. (2005).
Section 1: Cultural Characteristics of the Racial or Ethnic Group

In the article describes how Hmong parents were found to be far less likely to report a

disability of their child. Contrary to what individuals might think, many Hmong cultures see

exceptionalities of individuals as a gift from god or a curse due to spiritual wrong doing of the

family. Hmong culture perceives exceptionalities of individuals to be caused by three major

things those being birth defects, the individual being mad and the result of war (Vang, H., &

Barrera, M. T. (2005). This is key to understanding the psyche of this culture, it is important to

notice that not every individual feels as if these are how exceptionalities are created but it gives a

powerful insight into this culture. Once again it is pivotal to know that one should not take this

information and apply it to all Hmong individuals, yet use it as knowledge of a culture. Commented [WNP1]: Well-said!!

Additionally, the Hmong are characterized as a dense family oriented group which has a

large impact within their culture. Hmong children, with or without disabilities, may bring meals

from home to school and can be verbally attacked by other children because they are not eating r

American food. Hmong traditional cuisine is biased around eggs and rice like the staple of

many other Asian food cultures. There are countless reports of Hmong parents blaming their

childs exceptionality on the fact that god is punishing the family for some possible wrongdoings

in the past and that, that is the major reason, in their mind, that their child is the way they are

(Vang, H., & Barrera, M. T. (2005). Commented [WNP2]:


Here is an example of the concepts of ideology as
discussed in my Social Construct of Difference PPT and my
The Hmong are a traditionally storytelling society and due to this a lot of their culture and Graphic Social Constructs of Difference document.

history lies in the knowledge and stories told by Hmong elders (Vang, H., & Barrera, M. T.

(2005). With the storytelling being a main source of history of the Hmong many stories and tales

have been lost over the years with the transition of the Hmong fleeing oppression. Due to the loss

of many cultural stories and history some Hmong may not know their full cultural heritage. It is
important for any educator to understand the background of a ethnic group especially one that is

prominent in the community that they teach.

Section 2: Important Societal Factors Impacting the Ethnic or Racial Group

Stereotypes from society are always going to be a factor that will impact any group of

individuals chances of success within society and The Hmong people should not be overlooked

as if they do not have negative stereotypes perpetuated about them. Though stereotypes are

harmful they are the least of the societal factors for the Hmong, a more prevalent topic is the

views Hmong individuals have of one another due to Societies expectations for these individuals.

Modern western medicine often clashes with the cultural views of many Hmong families (Vang,

H., & Barrera, M. T. (2005). A great deal of Hmong families do not accept western medicine and

because of that it can conflict with what medical systems wish to do for certain Hmong students

with exceptionalities as far as medication and if a school system should implement any

specifications in a childs IEP (Individualized Education Program). Commented [WNP3]: Here is a great example of how an
Institutional dynamic (Western Medicine) can clash with
family cultural dynamics in ways that are potentially
Hmong communities within the United States are bunched up into pockets with these problematic for Hmong learners with special needs.

cultures of Hmong existing mainly in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, but in other areas as

well just not as highly populated. Hmong children in the areas of California, Minnesota and

Wisconsin may have a more well-knit community around them to keep their culture, however if

they reside in any other state there is a possible lack of that surrounding ethnic community. The Commented [WNP4]: As you look at my Activities to
Investigate Funds of Knowledge list in D2L Clinical
Experiences Module, you can see ways that teachers might
importance of a community is very important especially for a group such as the Hmong, if any investigate existing Funds of Knowledge in the homes and
communities of Hmong students with special needs in order
group or individual has a lack of a community they may already be at a loss. to gain a better understanding of their cultural
characteristics that can function as strengths or resources.
How can the teacher then work with said students to make
connections to desired dispositions and specific academic
standards and content being discussed and assessed in a
unit, lesson plan, or classroom management strategy?
Society has worked to bring itself further toward acceptance, however there is still stigma

around individuals with exceptionalities. There is plenty of legislation protecting individuals

with disabilities such as IDEA which is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act along

with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Along with transitioning to life in The United

States raising a child with disabilities can be taxing on the parents and the relocation of a people

can be a major factor on how the child is brought up.

Section 3: Educational Strategies/Interventions that consider Culture, Important Societal

Factors, and Impact Academic Indicators

It is suggested by this journal for Hmong parents with a child that has an exceptionality

for the school first to respect the familys culture and from there to make culturally appropriate

suggestions for the childs continuing education (Vang, H., & Barrera, M. T. (2005). The journal

shows that Hmong parents may not know of the opportunities for their child with an

exceptionality and it is highly suggested as an intervention for the Hmong parents to be educated

on special education policies, procedures, and educational structures. The journal says that it Commented [WNP5]: This should be your first
intervention, and then the second related intervention
would be the translator or interpreter.
would be very beneficial for there to be a translator or interpreter implemented in the IEP

meeting for Hmong parents that do not have parents with English as a first language (Vang, H.,

& Barrera, M. T. (2005).

Hmong parents just like parental unit love their children greatly, yet some feel as if they

need to hide their children away from the world. The community and school district should work

along with these parents to preach acceptance and work to include their child within the

community not just the Hmong community but the community of the school, surrounding area,
Commented [WNP6]: See my Comment Box about Funds
and neighborhoods. Ultimately research on Hmong children with exceptionalities suggest of Knowledge above in relation to this point.

Good, thorough discussion in this Research Report - Rubric


intervention for cultural respect, translators, and to educate parents. Score: 3/3/3