New Issues in Diversity Broaden Scope of Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education

By Laura Notton, SAGE Reference 

The US Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s pushed diversity recognition world-wide to the forefront of society. Today there’s another challenge:  demographers predict that non-Hispanic Whites will make up 50% of the U.S. population in 2050 and that people of color will make up 50%. Both these issues have tremendous impact on education and education reform and are looked at in the Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, edited by James A. Banks.

When we were working with Professor Banks on the project, he told us he was excited about the project because “most books on diversity focus on one of its dimensions, such as race, ethnicity, or gender. The unique contribution of the Encyclopedia is that its discusses all of the factors related to diversity—including race, class, gender, religion, language, exceptionality—and describes how they are related to education.” That’s what makes this resource different than others. The four-volume set includes a broad range of entries on topics like bilingual education, culturally responsive pedagogy, religious pluralism, and social construction of gender, as well as background on a number of landmark court cases.

In order to highlight the complexity of diversity in education in a global context, the Encyclopedia engages researchers in a discussion of international movements such as Canada’s citizenship education debate and Malaysia’s bilingual education proposal. Looking at the global context of education, Professor Banks told us he thinks the Encyclopedia’s scope will “illustrate how insights from other nations can enrich the understanding of diversity in the United States.”

We were lucky to get such an expert for this project. Professor Banks is a distinguished professor and Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle.

The Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education publishes this May, so be sure to check out this unique, comprehensive work at your library.

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