1st Edition

Diversity, Transformative Knowledge, and Civic Education Selected Essays

By James A. Banks Copyright 2020
    235 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    235 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    WINNER 2021 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

    The essays collected in this book, by James A. Banks, a foundational figure in the field of multicultural education, illuminate the interconnection between the author’s work on knowledge construction and civic education. In pieces both poignant and personal, Banks shares some of his most groundbreaking and innovative work. Diversity, Transformative Knowledge, and Civic Education aims to unpack the "citizenship-education dilemma," whereby education programs strive to teach students democratic ideals and values within social, economic, political, and educational contexts that contradict justice, equality, and human rights. For change to take place, students need to internalize democratic values, by directly experiencing them in transformative classrooms and schools that are envisioned and described in this book.

    Drawn from Banks’ formidable canon, this collection highlights the conceptual, curricular, and pedagogical issues related to this dilemma, and signals a fundamental shift toward transformative citizenship education. Students, scholars and educators in the fields of multicultural education, civic education, social studies education, comparative education, and the foundations of education will find this book to be a valuable resource for discussion and discovery.


    Part One

    Race, Knowledge Construction, and Transformative Curriculum Reform


    1 The Canon Debate, Knowledge Construction, and Multicultural Education

    2 The Historical Reconstruction of Knowledge About Race: Implications for

      Transformative Teaching

    3The Lives and Values of Researchers: Implications for Educating Citizens in a

    Multicultural Society

    Part Two

    Cultural Democracy and Civic Education in Diverse Nations

    4 Cultural Democracy, Citizenship Education, and the American Dream

    5 Diversity and Citizenship Education in Multicultural Nations

    Part Three

    Diversity, Global Migration, and Civic Education

    6 Diversity, Group Identity, and Citizenship Education in a Global Context

    7 Failed Citizenship and Transformative Civic Education

    8 Civic Education for Non-Citizen and Citizen Students

    Selected Publications of James A. Banks



    James A. Banks is the Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies Emeritus. He was the Founding Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle, which is now the Banks Center for Educational Justice. Banks is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), a fellow of AERA, a member of the National Academy of Education, and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME).

    "Once again James A. Banks brings clarity and coherence to the ongoing debate of who is a citizen. In an era of rapid migration and increasing nationalist sentiments, the idea of the citizen is more important than ever. Banks brings together powerful scholarship and insightful analysis in a timely and significant volume."

    Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education Emerita, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    "James A. Banks has unquestionably been a transformative leader, scholar, and practitioner on how to create global democracies for a changing nation and world. This comprehensive compilation of his publications represents the breadth and depth of Banks’ work, which will influence our understanding of democracy, diversity, knowledge construction, and civic education for decades to come." 

    Tyrone C. Howard, Pritzker Family Endowed Chair in Education to Strengthen Children & Families, University of California, Los Angeles

    "In this engaging and informative collection of essays, James Banks describes how his personal biography of growing up in the segregated South has influenced his perspectives on the American saga and civic education. This timely book illuminates the importance of the current quests by marginalized groups around the world for full citizenship and sheds light on the heated and divisive debates that are taking place about citizenship and civic education."

    Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, President, Learning Policy Institute

     "Spanning several decades and various disciplines, the powerful research and writings of James Banks’ long and illustrious career have helped define the fields of multicultural education, knowledge construction, and civic education in the United States and beyond. Reading this collection is like a history lesson of diversity and transformative education in the 20th and 21st centuries."

    Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


    "This book is a remarkable journey through a half-century of transformative ideas in the field of multicultural education, citizenship, and identity by its most pivotal figure. It lays out the demand of an intellectual tradition that education ensure it provides the conditions for a pedagogy that is transformative so that every student from any country can become a culturally grounded and fully engaged citizen."

    Gerard A. Postiglione, Chair Professor in Sociology and Educational Policy, The University of Hong Kong

    "Diversity, Transformative Knowledge, and Civic Education is urgently needed. At a time when many around the world question the viability of a stable multicultural democracy, James Banks builds a compelling set of arguments to show what is possible and needed. Based on nuanced analyses, he lays meticulous groundwork for the work public schools can do. This book should be in the hands of every social studies educator."

    Christine E. Sleeter, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Monterey Bay.

    "During Banks’s long tenure at the University of Washington, he forged an extensive network of collaborators that provides testimony to both his academic stature and his generosity of spirit that one often does not find in prominent intellectuals… Although the explicit goal of this book is to provide an overview of Banks’s thinking on diversity and citizenship education, implicitly it also offers a portrait of the humanity and generosity of this man. As author and editor, he has applied his own prescriptions for inclusion by providing space for other scholars, male and female, of color or not, to participate in the creative act of writing for publication, with the goal of transforming schooling and society." –Margaret Smith Crocco, Schools, Volume 17, Number 2

    "The book is much more needed now than ever before, particularly given the international spread of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement since early-2020.…[it] provides light and inspiration for those searching for dynamic balances between diversity and unity in changing contexts with changing needs, within and across cultures in the twenty-first century." –Wing-Wah Law, Multicultural Education Review

    Into [our] extraordinary time arrives James Banks’ latest publication Diversity, Transformative Knowledge, and Civic Education: Selected Essays, a text that this reviewer recommends for policymakers, researchers, educators, and graduate students. Spanning 37 years, this collection of essays on multiculturalism, diversity, and citizenship offers timely insights into how the international educational community can address discriminatory schooling practices to improve the human condition…Along with the analyses and conceptual frameworks that Banks offers throughout his new collection, critical intercultural and multicultural educators will need to remain dispositionally mindful of Banks’ counsel in collectively continuing to work towards a more just world.—Michael Vavrus, review published in Intercultural Education

    The essays in this book reflect both the personal and political work of a half century undertaken by James Banks, who continues to be a groundbreaking and powerful scholar in this area of multicultural education, knowledge construction and the creation of a truly transformative education which could transform future global citizens.—Sally Tomlinson, review published in London Review of Education, Volume 19, Issue 1

    With nationalism and authoritarian regimes on the rise in many parts of the world, posing a critical challenge to democratic ideals and values, the insightful essays in this volume offer a flexible framework for comparative and international educators to use in addressing issues of diversity, transformational knowledge, and civic education in their own sociocultural and political contexts. Banks does not offer easy answers to the complex and difficult curricular challenges facing comparative international educators. With his grounding in social theory and practice, however, he does an excellent job of presenting us with a rich menu of exciting ideas and possibilities for creating democratic schools and societies. – Carlos J. Ovando, Arizona State University, Emeritus, review published in Comparative Education Review, Volume 65, Number 1

    "This collection of writings clearly shows Banks’ groundbreaking work and lifelong battle against inequality and injustice, fulfilling his obligation as a transformative intellectual leader and agent of change who has empowered and will continue to inspire generations of students, educators, and scholars." –Yiting Chu, review published in Multicultural Perspectives, Volume 23, Issue 1