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In June 2022, faculty in Ethnic Studies piloted a four-day institute for K-12 teachers at OSU’s Portland Center. Developed and taught by Ethnic Studies faculty, the ES Summer Institute offered K-12 teachers an opportunity to learn more about ethnic studies as a field, its pedagogical approaches, and how to use key critical frameworks. Participants came from a wide geographical range that included Bend, Corvallis, Sweet Home, Lebanon, Salem-Keizer, and Portland and taught at levels ranging from kindergarten to high school. Future iterations will include online options to support of K-12 teachers developing ethnic studies curriculum.
With the passage of HB 2845, ethnic studies curriculum is now part of the state’s K-12 social science standards at all levels, with full implementation required by 2026-27. Ethnic Studies faculty worked in support of the bill and also wanted to help foster the successful implementation of HB 2845 moving forward, as ethnic studies is proven to have a positive impact on attendance and graduation rates for students from marginalized communities (see, for example, What the Research Says About Ethnic Studies). The development of K-12 ethnic studies curriculum will play an important role in addressing ongoing retention and achievement gaps in our state.