A recent poll on the attitudes Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have about education may challenge long-held racial stereotypes about this group, according to the study’s authors.

Seventy-one percent of AAPI adults support the teaching of slavery, racism, segregation and AAPI history as the nation’s culture wars continue to restrict which subjects are taught in public schoolsthe survey found. The data was released May 29 by the research organizations AAPI Data and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

“The affirmation that the study of race and racism has a place in K-12 education is important because some people may have the stereotype of Asian Americans and Asian-American parents only focused on, say, math and science, and not on the kinds of critical conversations that are necessary for building an engaged and responsible citizen in America,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and executive director of AAPI Data and one of the study’s lead authors.

The poll of 1,068 AAPI adults in the United States was conducted from April 8 to 17, with a margin of error of 4.7 percentage points. The poll was conducted in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Korean using both online and telephone interviews.

Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside, said the persistence of the model minority myth means that some people might find the survey results surprising. The model minority myth, which dates back to the 1960s, frames Asian Americans as industrious, docile and high achieving academically and economically. The idea that such a group welcomes the teaching of the nation’s history of racism in schools undercuts stereotypes that paint AAPI communities, particularly women, as passive and assimilationist.

Women may be the members of the AAPI community most invested in fighting restrictions on the teaching of racism and related subjects in schools. The poll found that they were more likely than men — 54 percent to 42 percent — to say that teachers have too little influence on the public school curriculum. This could be, in part, because teaching is a woman-dominated profession, but Ramakrishnan also noted that “mothers tend to be more informed about what’s going on in school.”

“They want to give more power to teachers and educators and are not really that supportive of the politicization of school curricula through school boards,” he said.

Overall, 56 percent of AAPI adults oppose school boards censoring classroom discussions, while 17 percent support school boards’ influence over these discussions. Those who identified as conservative or religious were more likely than their liberal or nonreligious counterparts to support restrictions on classroom subject matter.

Read the full article about AAPI communities support education on racism and slavery by Nadra Nittle at The19th.