Curriculum Needs To Reflect the Learners

After you open a book, you may find a different world and different possibilities within the writing on pages. Reading expands your thoughts and creates a personal relationship between you and the characters that you are reading about. From freshman year whenever you first pick up a copy of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck or even to your junior year when you get the opportunity to read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and all the books in between and after that time, you may notice the same repeating pattern: reading books written by a non-diverse group of authors.

We greatly lack culture in our curriculum. Students are rarely introduced to authors such as Langston Hughes or Maya Angelou or books that emphasize other cultures like I am not your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez, a book which speaks about the expectations of a young Latin American girl in society and at home. Although Study Sync does offer brief excerpts from these authors and authors like them, we need to see more than the typical stories that involve Caucasian characters in books like “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

And it is not just our English department where we find a lack of cultural diversity. Despite Black History Month relating to a large majority of students on the Weston Ranch High School campus, students have yet to see projects or readings that promote the importance of African American heritage. With the abundance of diversity throughout not only our campus but campuses worldwide, books that are required and implemented in our learning should represent people of all races and different backgrounds.

It’s vital that we see and hear about people of color succeeding in our classrooms because the relativity encourages students by creating a relationship between what you are learning and how that applies to you directly. It is not only crucial for ethnic students to be reading materials that relate to them but is essential for all students to see diversity in the content they study. Variety in the curriculum teaches inclusion and empathy; two things there should never be too much of. It also shows people how to accept one another by reading books like A Gift from Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz, a novel which opens Abuela’s home and teaches the reader to have a better understanding of the culture in a traditional Mexican home. Reading books like the Color Purple by Alice Walker shows you the plight and struggle of African Americans in America.

Giving students the platform to learn more about others offers students a better understanding of the struggle they might not already understand. Our goal is to encourage teachers to make the change to create a more diverse curriculum in school for the sake of everyone.