Paramount Unified School District ethnic studies


Paramount Unified School District’s first version of its ethnic studies course stated that students “are introduced to frameworks and theories such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Critical Race Theory.” The course featured units such as “Power and Oppression” which had students focus on “comparing how institutions such as public education, the legal system, immigration system, health care system, housing system, labor system, prison/detention institutions and economic system have functioned over time to impact groups’ oppression, identity and resistance.”

The district’s revised version of the course for 9th graders states that it is designed to introduce students to the “concepts of identity, race, and intersectionality.” The students will learn to “analyze the dominant narratives in the history books of the present and past and compare them with counter narratives.”

In the first unit of the course, students focus on their identity including “how intersections of race, ethnicity, nationality, and culture shape their identity.” At the end of the unit, students are to create public service announcements that “challenge particular stereotypes in terms of institutional, interpersonal, and internalized oppression.”

Unit 3 focuses on “Dominant Narrative vs. Counter Narrative,” where students will learn “how these dominant narratives have affected bias, stereotypes, and public view of the key ethnic groups and make connections to the previously learned concepts of institutional, interpersonal, and internalized oppression.”

The final unit of the course has students studying “various past social movements” and developing their own civic engagement. Students will focus on answering questions such as “How might we continue to promote positive identities as scholars and community members through our continued engagement in advancing our studies, strengthening our community, and advocating in favor of ideas that counter racism and oppression?”