Equity & Diversity Opinion

Learning About Identity: A Student’s Case for Ethnic Studies

By Christina Torres — October 06, 2016 2 min read
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A guest post by Haley Tateyama

I think Ethnic Studies is definitely an important and useful thing that should be brought to students. To me, Ethnic Studies is about studying the diversity of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and other groups people identify themselves as. Because there is an array of people with different identities, it’s important to include some of the major ones and learn about what it is, the history of it, etc.

For example, race has been quite a controversy recently. There hasn’t been much variety when it comes to talking about race in schools. In California, 53.64% of students are Hispanic or Latino. That’s over half of the students. Shouldn’t it be time to expand our knowledge of other races and their history? This is America, and every race should not be left out of our history, including what students learn in the classrooms.

If students learned more about Ethnic Studies, then they would benefit more as they are the future generation for the world. They would know more about different races, cultures, and much more.

There are some complications. For example, the course would cost money as well as possibly altering the existing curriculum. But isn’t it more important that the students learn about their race history and become more educated about the situation in the real world? It would benefit them for future careers and just life in general because they would be knowledgeable in that field and could teach others about it. The children are the future generation; it’s up to them to create what’s coming ahead. Shouldn’t we be providing them the right education and knowledge they need to know to do so?

As for me, I think I would benefit a lot from it. I learned many things about my identity not in school, but online. Many others have done the same. Doesn’t that say something about the way the school curriculum works? That maybe we should put more thought into what the students are learning rather than cramming in a bunch of random information that will most likely not benefit us for the future?

To conclude, Ethnic Studies is something that students should learn about to know more about their identity and who they are as a person.

Haley Tateyama is a 9th-grade student at University Laboratory School in Honolulu, HI. Her hobbies include writing and listening to visual kei music. She hopes to have a career as a writer and an English teacher in Japan.

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The opinions expressed in The Intersection: Culture and Race in Schools are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.