Giving Compass' Take:
- A recent report found that 87 percent of U.S. history textbooks do not adequately and authentically cover Latino history.
- How does this exclusion contribute to silencing Latinos' experiences?
- Learn why it's harmful to students to ban lessons on race.
What is Giving Compass?
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An analysis of how Latinos are portrayed in widely used US history textbooks reveals a lack of authenticity and a failure to cover many seminal events in the Latino experience.
The report found 87% of key topics in Latino history were either not covered in the evaluated textbooks or mentioned in five or fewer sentences. Together the books included just one Hispanic breakthrough moment from the last 200 years: Sonya Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
“Research is clear that high-quality, knowledge-building materials are the foundation of academic achievement,” says Ashley Berner, director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy.
“Although Latino students represent more than a quarter of the 50.8 million K-12 public school students in the United States, until this study, we hadn’t known the extent, quality, and variety of opportunities students have to understand the Latino story.”
Inclusion doesn’t just benefit Latino students; it improves the achievement of all students, says Viviana López Green, senior director of the Racial Equity Initiative at UnidosUS.
“As the country grows more diverse,” Green says, “it’s essential for our future workers, businesspeople, community leaders, and public officials to learn about the contributions and experiences of all Americans, including Latinos, the country’s largest racial/ethnic minority.”
The researchers have previously performed extensive evaluations of social studies and English curricula used in public, private, and charter school classrooms across the United States. Their reviews include how diverse Americans’ experience is portrayed, knowing that students learn best when they see themselves reflected in course materials and that other students benefit from learning about diverse groups of people.
Read the full article about Latino history in textbooks by Jill Rosen at Futurity.