Ethnic Studies 

As a response to the growing need to prepare ethnic studies teachers, the UCLA Teacher Education Program (TEP) launched an Ethnic Studies pilot program. This program prepares secondary Social Science and English/Language Arts pre-service teachers to teach Ethnic Studies classes in Los Angeles schools.

I decided to join the Ethnic Studies …[Pathway in TEP] because of the momentum that was being built around the Ethnic Studies movement. Not just across the nation, but specifically in California…Before that, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my Ethnic Studies major. This is just an opportunity to bring our cultural wisdom and our histories back to our communities.”

Ethnic Studies TEP Student

As the first Teacher Education Programs to initiate a K-12 Ethnic Studies pathway, we drew from the experiences and expertise of LAUSD teachers who were teaching Ethnic Studies and the knowledge and research of Ethnic Studies scholars at the university. We were also guided by our teacher candidates’ feedback and reflections. Over the last six years, we have made adjustments in the admission/selection process, coursework, cohort structure, and fieldwork placements. Through this process, we have continued to develop our understanding of what it means to prepare teacher candidates to teach Ethnic Studies in Los Angeles secondary (6-12) classrooms.

Currently, students are admitted to the Ethnic Studies Pathway as part of the application process. They take additional or enhanced coursework including:

  • Social Foundations and Cultural Diversity in American Education (Ethnic Studies emphasis)
  • Ethnic Studies Pedagogy
  • Ethnic Studies Curriculum

Students in the pathway complete one of their clinical practice placements in an Ethnic Studies classroom within LAUSD.

When I was looking for a Teacher Education Program, I was looking for a program whose values aligned with mine.

I don’t see teaching as a job. I see teaching as part of who I am and as a way to enact change in this world.”

Gloria Mayorga-Garcia
TEP Novice Year at UCLA Community School