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Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum FAQs

Information and frequently asked questions about the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.
Why did California create an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum?

California was required by statute to develop a model curriculum in ethnic studies that can be used as a guide for districts or schools that want to develop their own curriculum.

What is a model curriculum?

A model curriculum is a guidance document that provides support to teachers and administrators in developing courses and/or instructional content in a specific topic area. It is not a complete classroom curriculum or instructional materials; it is intended as a resource. A model curriculum is similar to a curriculum framework, but with a specific focus. The César E. Chávez model curriculum is an example of a curriculum that was previously adopted by the State Board of Education.

Why ethnic studies?

California is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities to all students. Research shows that culturally meaningful and relevant curriculum can have a positive impact on students. Students that become more engaged in school through courses like ethnic studies are more likely to graduate and feel more personally empowered. A number of California school districts have already adopted local ethnic studies programs, and some have implemented a local graduation requirement in ethnic studies. This model curriculum will provide support to other districts that are considering similar options.

Are schools required to use the model curriculum?

No. The model curriculum is a guide. Schools and districts may use it when developing an ethnic studies curriculum that best addresses local student needs. Many schools and districts already offer ethnic studies electives or programs and many of those courses meet the University of California’s A-G requirements.

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | cfird@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Recently Posted in Curriculum and Instruction Resources
  • Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (added 08-Apr-2021)
    The model curriculum was adopted by the SBE on March 18, 2021. A professionally edited and formatted version of the model curriculum will be available at a later time.