James A. Banks

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James Albert Banks (born September 24, 1941) is an American educator and the Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor of Diversity Studies and director of University of Washington's Center for Multicultural Education. He is regarded as a founder of the discipline of multicultural education.


James Banks was born on September 24, 1941, to a family of farmers, his father was Matthew Banks and mother, Lula Holt Banks.

He had studied at the McCullough Union School. He gained his associate’s 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.

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. In 2007, he was appointed the Tisch Distinguished Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.


  • Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies (8th edition)
  • Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society (2nd edition)
  • Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives, Race, and Culture
  • Education: The Selected Works of James A. Banks
  • Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education (2nd edition), editor
  • Routledge International Companion to Multicultural Education, editor

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