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Frontline - Class Act

Television (Full Length) – 1994

In the 1990s, New Zealand schools confirmed a global trend; students of Asian origin were outperforming students of any other ethnicity, especially in science subjects and mathematics. Reporter Michael Wilson interviews professors, teachers, students and parents about Asian academic success. Irene Peng recalls long study hours at her school in Taiwan and no time for extra-curricular activities. Teacher Dorothy Brown rejects the cliché all Asian kids are "clever" and Associate Professor Tom Nicholson says economics affects results, citing immigrant families in South Auckland who struggle at school.

We are allowed to study at our own pace here. And over there it's more like, we are given a set amount to do at a set amount of time and if we don't do it by then...it's a big crime not to get things done on time.
– Selwyn College student Anna Tong on the difference between Kiwi and Asian schools

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