Silicon Valley Sociological Review


Megan Imai


Under the context of political tension over restrictions on diversity curriculum in K-12 schools, this paper aims to answer the question: “Does the level of exposure to multiculturally representative curriculum in high school U.S. history courses correlate with educational engagement, especially for students of color?” Quantitative data from the National Assessment for Educational Progress 2010 12th grade U.S. history assessment and questionnaires is used to assess the correlation between the level of emphasis on people from various cultures in course curriculum and three measures of student engagement: NAEP test score, interest in course material, and their educational goals. While the literature suggests a more culturally competent and diverse curriculum would provide benefits for students, especially those from minority backgrounds, I could not conclude that there is a correlation between the level of exposure to many cultures in curriculum and any of these learning outcomes based on my data and analysis. Findings suggest that inclusion of different cultures in curriculum alone may not be enough to make a difference in achievement gaps along race and class lines. This study provides motivation for further research on the topic of diversity studies and multicultural curriculum in high schools, and discussion of the limitations of the study give insight into how this might be done.



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