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Strength in Diversity: Why Ethnic Studies Matter

Ethnic StudiesIn the fall of 2015, the NCTE Executive Committee approved the NCTE Position Statement in Support of Ethnic Studies Initiatives in K-12 Curricula. For a complete history of this statement, please read Millie Davis’s blog, Why NCTE Supports Ethnic Studies Initiatives. In the position statement, we list the following benefits of incorporating ethnic and cultural studies programs at the K-12 level:

  • They “help create diverse and inclusive classroom environments that promote learning and activism;”
  • They “increase enrollment, reduce truancy and dropout rates;”
  • They “prepare youth to be college- and career-ready by promoting critical thinking and self-empowerment;”
  • They “can result in higher test scores and greater self-esteem for students;”
  • They reflect “the growing diversity of student populations in [US] schools,” and
  • Students develop a “cross-cultural understanding that encourages respect for other people.”

These benefits matter and make a difference, particularly to populations who have long felt ignored, disrespected, and marginalized. In the coming weeks, members will lend their voices to describe and discuss the importance and impact of ethnic and cultural studies. If you have a story to share, please feel free to send it to Lu Ann McNabb at lmcnabb@ncte.org and we will happily publish.