Curriculum & Instruction » Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies Requirement:


Ethnic Studies is the examination of historic and contemporary narratives, contributions, struggles, and resistance centered around Black American, Native American, Chicano/Latino/a/e and Asian American (including Arab Americans) communities. Ethnic studies courses focus on these groups’ experiences in the United States. It allows for the examination of social construction of race and racism that is  built on community narratives and input around resistance and contributions. It fosters and encourages community responsiveness, social engagement, healing, and hope. 
Assembly Bill 101- Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirements was passed in October 2021 requiring a semester of Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement for the graduating class of 2030 and requiring at least one semester of Ethnic Studies be offered beginning in the 2025-2026 school year.  In Castro Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), this course will replace the 9th grade Comparative Cultural Geography (CCG) requirement. Ethnic Studies does not delve into international political struggles or comparative examination of how different groups interact outside of the United States. Ethnic Studies  builds students’ awareness and their personal and familial connections to their cultures, histories, and contemporary experiences.
Every student has the opportunity to enter Ethnic Studies from their own unique perspective.  Students begin the course from an entry point based on their own experiences and identity. Throughout the course, students learn to connect their experiences to the experiences of other communities. The goal is to equip students with the tools to succeed in a society made up of interrelated communities. This course will build critical skills that students can apply throughout their secondary school experience and beyond.
Ethnic Studies Curriculum:
Districts have an option to use the California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum which was adopted by the State Board of Education  or develop  their own curriculum.  Rather than using a canned curriculum that may not meet the specific needs of our district, we will be building a course that is responsive to the needs and composition of our community.  CVUSD teachers will create and utilize units focused on five themes: 
  1. Self: Intersectional identity 
  2. Stories: Collective narratives
  3. Systems:  Analysis of systems of oppression & imagining a better world
  4. Social Movements: Resistance and resilience in organizing  against injustice 
  5. Solidarity: Solidarity between communities in constructing a better world
Units are designed to make connections to the experiences of all students. Students will explore the American experience of our diverse community to build themselves as culturally-aware future leaders.