Impact of a Culturally Relevant/Anti-racist High School Course

This is an impressive study on the effectiveness of a well-designed high school course (9th grade) that contains this content:

“The units in this course focused on themes of social justice, anti-racism, stereotypes, and social movements led by people of color from US history spanning the late eighteenth century until the 1970s. The curriculum incorporated elements of histories and political struggles of multiple racial and ethnic groups, many of which are not traditionally represented in US social-studies content. For example, students in this course examined the genocide of Native Americans in California, community resis- tance in Chinese and Latinx neighborhoods in California, and labor organizing during the Great Depression and World War II among African Americans and Filipino Americans. The course also encouraged students to explore how social constructions of race, ethnicity, and culture shaped their individual identity, their family and community histories, and required students to design and implement participatory-action projects based on their study of racialized and ethnic relations in their local communities. The learning objectives of the course included student knowledge of and ability to combat racism and other forms of oppression, in- creased student commitment to social justice, and improvement of student pride in their own identities and communities. In addition to the civic and psychological goals of the ES program, the pilot’s stated intent was to close achievement gaps and re- duce dropout rates (15, 16).”

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