The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

An Introduction to AAPI Studies


A class that started its first semester this year is Asian American Pacific Islander Studies (AAPI), led by Mr. Matthew Wong. This is a semester-long class that covers the history of AAPI communities and solidarity, along with AAPI in pop culture. The class delves into the experiences of Asians who immigrated to the United States and explored the challenges and opportunities they encountered upon arrival.

The class focuses on current event topics that are relevant to the AAPI community, and students analyze primary and secondary sources to conduct research and engage in group discussions. They read novels written by Japanese authors that provide insights into life in Hawaii and explore topics such as Paper Sons—individuals who falsely claimed to be the biological sons of Chinese-American citizens to immigrate to the United States. Discussions revolve around questions related to contemporary issues facing the AAPI community, prompting students to delve into research and exchange perspectives. 

“We [normally] talk about things that don’t get talked about in mainstream US history,” said Mr. Wong. “We also spend a good amount of time looking at different kinds of APPI media, with a focus on animated films.” 

Additionally, guest speakers are also invited to the class, including students from UCLA who are currently majoring in Asian American Studies. Field trips to locations like Little Tokyo and the Chinese American Museum in downtown Los Angeles are also planned to provide students with firsthand experiences and insights into AAPI culture. 

APPI Studies was created as a way to introduce the first ethnic studies class into Arcadia High School, (AHS). Mr. Wong stated that the reason AAPI was chosen to be the first ethics study class is because 70% of the students at AHS are Asian. 

“I mean we used to have Asian Studies, but it’s not the same as AAPI Studies. An introduction to Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies is studying about [what happens] here,” Mr Wong said.

The objective of AAPI Studies is to further its reach by increasing the number of teachers offering the class and attracting more students to enroll. This expansion plan includes organizing additional field trips and inviting guest speakers to enrich the learning experience for students. 

The Asian American Pacific Islander course spans a semester and delves into the experiences and narratives of Asians who migrated to the United States, exploring the challenges and journeys they encountered along the way. Mr. Wong, the instructor for the course, is eager to teach the subject matter and anticipates increased enrollment in the class.


Photo Courtesy of FREEPIK.COM

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