Sociocultural Diversity in Education


In recent decades, the U.S. student population has become more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, language, and other axes of difference (Pew Research Center, 2014; NCES, 2017). For example, from 2003 to 2013, the proportion of PK-12 students who identify as Hispanic/Latinx rose from 19 to 25 percent, while those who identify as Asian/Pacific Islander increased from 4 to 5 percent. These and other related changes are expected to continue for decades to come (NCES, 2017).

Such changes in the PK-12 population are due, primarily, to the growth of groups that have been labeled as “other” because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, language, and other personal characteristics, and subjected to injustices such as racism, ethnocentrism, and xenophobia.  Yet, despite decades of calls to end unjust policies and practices, students from these groups continue to endure inequities and discrimination in schools and other settings.  

To ensure the changes that are desperately needed, all teachers—regardless of their own identities—must commit to (1) learning about various forms of sociocultural diversity, (2) understanding a variety of injustices, (3) recognizing the many ways that injustices are perpetuated, and (4) mastering practices that have been shown to promote equity and justice for all students.  

In this series of posts, I provide teacher candidates with an overview of the concepts and ideas that underpin each of these four goals and recommend resources that can be utilized to further their knowledge and understanding of sociocultural diversity as it relates to education.


After reading these posts and viewing the other resources, teacher candidates should be able to:   

(1) define terminology related to sociocultural diversity;
(2) describe and exemplify misconceptions about sociocultural diversity;
(3) describe and exemplify a variety of common injustices; and
(4) identify strategies for combating injustice, especially in educational settings.


Part 1: Introduction to Key Terminology

In the first part (linked below), I provide an overview of seven aspects of sociocultural diversity which are relevant to PK-12 education including culture, ethnicity, gender, language, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

Click here – Intro to Key Terminology (Part 1)

Part 2: Discrimination in PK-12 Education

In the second part (linked below), I address three kinds of discriminatory practices in PK-12 education and provide examples of the deleterious effects of such practices.

Click here – Discrimination in PK-12 Education (Part 2)


Elementary and Secondary Enrollments

Race, The Power of An Illusion

The Gender Identity Terms You Need to Know

GLSEN 2019 School Climate Survey

Responding to Microaggressions in the Classroom

Tool: Interrupting Microaggressions

Social Class and Poverty in the US

What Are Microaggressions?

Microaggressions Don’t Just Hurt Your Feelings

Learning for Justice (Multiple Topics)

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