James A. Banks

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James Albert Banks (born 1941[1]) is an American educator and the Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies and founding director of University of Washington's Center for Multicultural Education. He is regarded as a pioneer and one of the founders of the discipline of multicultural education.


James Banks grew up on a farm in Arkansas, and attended elementary and high school in Lee County, Arkansas.

He received his associate degree with high scholastic honors from Chicago City Junior College in 1963. A year later, he received bachelor's degree in elementary education and social science with honors from Chicago Teachers College. He received his master’s and PhD degrees in these fields from Michigan State University between 1966 and 1969. He has been a faculty member at the College of Education in University of Washington since 1969. He was the Russell F. Stark University Professor at the University of Washington from 2001 to 2006.

Banks is known for his groundbreaking work in social studies education and especially in the field of multicultural education. His work has won numerous scholarly awards including a Spencer Fellowship from the National Academy of Education, the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) 1998 Presidents’ Award, the National Council for the Social Studies 2001 Distinguished Career Research in Social Studies Award, and the inaugural American Educational Research Association Social Justice in Education Award for a career of research that advances social justice through education research in 2004.

In 1986, Banks was named a Distinguished Scholar/Researcher on Minority Education by the American Educational Research Association Committee on the Role and Status of Minorities in Educational R & D. He received that Committee's Distinguished Career Award in 1996. In 1994, he was the recipient of the American Educational Research Association Research Review Award. Banks delivered the 29th Annual Faculty Lecture at the University of Washington in 2005, the highest honor given to a professor at that University. He also received in 2005 a Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University. Banks was a Spencer Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University during the 2005-2006 academic year. In 2007, he was the Tisch Distinguished Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Banks is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and of the National Council for the Social Studies. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Banks has written widely in the fields of multicultural education, citizenship education, and social studies education. His books include:

  • Global Migration, Diversity, and Civic Education: Improving Policy and Practice, co-editor
  • Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education(4 Volumes), editor
  • Cultural Diversity and Education: Foundations, Curriculum, and Teaching (6th edition)
  • Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives (9th edition), co-editor
  • Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies (8th edition)
  • Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society (2nd edition)
  • Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives
  • Race, Culture, and Education: The Selected Works of James A. Banks
  • Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education (2nd edition), editor
  • Routledge International Companion to Multicultural Education, editor
  • Citizenship Education and Global Migration: Implications for Theory, Research and Teaching, editor

His books have been translated into Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Turkish and Arabic.

Banks holds honorary doctorates from the Bank Street College of Education (New York), the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, DePaul University, Lewis and Clark College, and Grinnell College.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture [1]