This research study examined the general question "What do Asian American parents believe to be important characteristics of an effective elementary teacher?" In order to investigate this question, the researcher used a qualitative research design employing a semi-structured interview which probed into the personal perceptions voiced by a sample of twelve Asian American parents on the characteristics of good teachers. The twelve Asian American parents who participated in this study were from nine different Asian countries covering the three main regions defined as Asian according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Far East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian sub-continent. Also, the study was focused on the Asian American families living in the Southern region of Minnesota. It was discovered that there was a general agreement among the parents regarding the characteristics of good teachers. The findings were arranged into two main sections, vision of education and characteristics of effective teachers. In the first section, vision of education, five aspects were revealed: 1) opportunity, 2) independence, 3) personal growth, 4) respect, and 5) negative consequences of not getting sufficient education. Parents revealed that the main purpose of education is to have opportunities to be independent and have high social status (financially and socially). Education, according to the Asian American parents, is immensely important for the growth of the individuals to live their daily lives because without education, life would be a struggle. The second section, the characteristics of effective teachers, included fifteen themes. Out of fifteen themes, ten were found to be important features in effective teaching. Those features were 1) teachers' expectations, 2) individualized instruction, 3) teacher as a person, 4) teachers' enthusiasm, 5) discipline, 6) relationship between students, teachers, and parents 7) interactional dynamics, 8) life skills, 9) school uniforms, and 10) classroom climate. The other five themes that emerged were of lesser importance to the parents for effective teaching. Those themes were 1) classroom management, 2) physical layout, 3) teachers' knowledge, 4) teacher's gender, and 5) racial/ethnic background of the teacher.


Julie A. Carlson

Committee Member

Scott Wurdinger

Committee Member

Scott Granberg-Rademacker

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Counseling and Student Personnel



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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