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Tucson Unified Curriculum

Our Curriculum 4.0 is infused with Multicultural Education

At Tucson Unified, we recognize the value of multicultural education in supporting student success. Multicultural education acknowledges that the ways in which students learn and think are deeply influenced by their cultural identity and heritage and that to teach culturally diverse students effectively requires educational approaches that value and recognize their cultural backgrounds. In this way, multicultural education aims to improve the learning and success of all students, particularly students from cultural groups that have been historically underrepresented.

In practice, educators modify or eliminate educational policies, programs, materials, lessons, and instructional practices that are either discriminatory toward or insufficiently inclusive of diverse cultural perspectives.

Photo of students

Why do we need a Multicultural Curriculm?

  1. To prepare students for diverse workplaces and multicultural environments
  2. To expose biases, stereotypes, and policies that can restrict achievement
  3. To ensure that content is fair, accurate, and inclusive
  4. To accommodate the diverse teaching and learning styles of teachers and students
  5. To help students, faculty, and staff become advocates for multicultural awareness

The district's Multicultural Framework for Student Academic Success is articulated through the district policies and initiatives. Tucson Unified recognizes the growing diversity of cultures in the district and commits itself to ensure that all aspects of policies, curricula, practices, programs, and services promote intercultural understanding and addresses the needs of students who have been historically marginalized or underrepresented.

Tucson Unified's 4.0 multicultural curriculum uses the Anti-Bias Framework, developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and culturally responsive teaching as a basis for effective anti-bias education at every grade level. The anti-bias anchor standards provide a set of age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains: identity, diversity, justice and action.

The curriculum, which is inclusive of the histories, cultures, and contributions of diverse groups of people, enriches learning for all students, preparing them to work toward structural equality and equity by engaging them in critical thinking around issues of racism, sexism, classism, linguicism, ageism, genderism, and more.

Curriculum 4.0
Multicultural Content and Resources   Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies
Curriculum 4.0 Multicultural Resources
  • Themes
    • Identity
    • Diversity
    • Justice
    • Action
  • Essential Questions
  • Enduring Understanding
  • Units
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  • Positive and reciprocal teacher/student relationships
  • Positive learning communities
  • Student engagement
  • Academic rigor
  • Student-centered classrooms

Flow chart: Identity, Diversity, Justice, Action

Adapted from Teaching Tolerance

K-5

K-5 Student Outcomes:
Emphasis on Identity and Diversity

Middle School

Middle School Student Outcomes:
Emphasis on Identity, Diversity, and Justice

High School

High School Student Outcomes:
Emphasis on Identity, Diversity, Justice, And Action

Definition of Terms

Culture: the totality of ideas, beliefs, values, knowledge, language, and way of life of a group of people who share a certain historical background.  Manifestations of culture include art, laws, institutions, and customs. 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: an educational approach that responds to student's social, emotional, and intellectual needs by incorporating student social and cultural assets into the curriculum.

Diversity: the unique characteristics that all persons possess that distinguish them as individuals and that identify them as belonging to a group or groups. 

Intercultural Proficiency: the ability to successfully communicate, understand, and interact among persons with differing assumptions that exist because of ethnic and cultural orientations.

Parent and Student Resources

AzMERIT

Information and resources about AzMERIT, the state's assessment program, is available on our AzMERIT webpage.

Arizona Civics Test

Attention juniors and parents of juniors: In 2015, the Arizona legislature passed the American Civics Act (House Bill 2064) requiring the graduating class of 2017 to pass a civics test based on the United States Immigration and Naturalization civics questions.  Students will be required to score 60% or higher in order to graduate from high school or obtain a high school equivalency certificates. Students may retake the test as many times as necessary to pass. Students receiving special education services are exempt from obtaining a passing score unless required by an IEP.

To prepare for this test, please this Study Guide for Arizona Civics Test.

Tucson Unified Resources for Parents and Students

Community Resources for Parents and Students

Parent and Student Resources

Helpful Information
Synergy Student Information Service library and textbook catalog food services online, free and reduced applications and meal accounts, TUSD Arizona Tax Credit - Give Kids the Extra Credit. Contribute using your credit card here! Tucson Unified Tax Credit Contribution Portal for Community Members