Date of Award

Summer 8-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Center for Science and Math Education


Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Chair

Sherry Herron

Committee Chair Department

Center for Science and Math Education


Asian Americans have been recognized as the model minority in the United States since the 1960s. Students from Asian countries are winning in international competitions, especially in science and mathematics. Modern Western scholars working within the constructivist learning theory advocate malleable intelligence and effort, which actually corresponds to Asian learning beliefs and learning behaviors. This research is designed to test if American high school students and Chinese students from the mainland of China who are motivated to attend American universities are different in their learning beliefs of physical science and what accounts for the difference if there is any.