The Significance of Ethnic Studies Programs at the High School Level


This year we introduced our second ethnic studies class at our school, Latin American Studies, with our Black Studies class being the pioneering ethnic studies class. The inclusion of these two Ethnic studies classes allows us to provide students a look into a history of people that look like them. Most importantly it shows them why they matter and to take pride in who they are while fostering cultural awareness, empathy, and critical thinking. In an increasingly diverse world, ethnic studies equips students with the tools to understand, appreciate, and respect different cultures and perspectives.

University Prep’s population is primarily identifies as Black and Hispanic/Latinx. For years they have asked for classes that focused on their history and their experiences. Students are eager to learn and being able to provide them with an ethnic studies course that focuses on their history empowers them to question dominant narratives and develop a more nuanced worldview. My Latin American ethnic studies course has aimed to provide this to students along with a sense of belonging and pride.

My Latin American Ethnic Studies class along with the Black Studies class has fostered a new sense of belonging and desire to learn amongst our students. In a world where history continues to be taught from one perspective, where folks still are working hard to keep only this perspective being taught, it is even more critical today to implement Ethnic Studies programs on a wider scale.

Author Information
Sergio Arteaga, University Prep Charter High School, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

The full paper is not available for this title

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon