Center for Multicultural Education
College of Education
     University of Washington, Seattle

              Professor James A. Banks
                         110 Miller Hall
                  Seattle, WA 98195-3600
                      (206) 543-3386


James A. Banks is Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor of Diversity Studies and Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is a specialist in multicultural education and in social studies education and has written widely in these book fields. He is a past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).  He was a Spencer Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford during the 2005-2006 academic year. He is a member of the National Academy of Education.

           His books include Teach­ing Strategies for Ethnic Studies,8th Edition (Allyn and Bacon); Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives, 6th Edition (With Cherry A. McGee Banks) (John Wiley & Sons); Cultural Diversity and Education: Foundations, Curriculum and Teaching, 5th Edition (Allyn and Bacon); An Introduction to Multicultural Education, 4th Edition (Allyn and Bacon); Multicultural Education, Transformative Knowledge, and Action (Teachers College Press); Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society, 2nd Edition(Teachers College Press); Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives (Jossey-Bass); and Race, Culture, and Education: The Selected Works of James A. Banks (Routledge). 

           Professor Banks is the editor, with Cherry A. McGee Banks, of the Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, published by Jossey-Bass. This landmark publication is the first research handbook on multicultural education to be published. In 1997, it received the Book Award from the National Association of Multicultural Education. The second edition of the Handbook was published by Jossey-Bass in 2004. He is an author on the Macmillan-McGraw-Hill social studies program for grades K through 7.

            Professor Banks has written over 100 articles, contributions to books, and book reviews for pro­fessional publications. He has con­tributed to such journals as the Educational Researcher, Phi Delta Kappan, Social Education, School Review, Educational Leader­ship, The Journal of Negro Education, and the Edu­cational Review (British). He served as guest editor of an issue of the Phi Delta Kappan which fo­cused on "The Imperatives of Ethnic Edu­cation” (1972). He was guest editor of a section in the April 1983 issue of the Phi Delta Kappan, "Multiethnic Education at the Crossroads." A section that he guest edited, "Multicultural Education: Progress and Prospects," appeared in the September, 1993 issue of the Phi Delta Kappan.

             Professor Banks edited the National Council for the Social Studies 43rd Yearbook, Teaching Ethnic Studies: Concepts and Strategies. He served as chairperson and senior author of the National Council for the Social Studies Task Force which authored Cur­riculum Guidelines for Multiethnic Education, a National Council for the Social Studies position statement. This publication was the recipi­ent of the 1977 Eleanor Fishburn Award given by the Education Press Association. The revised version of this document was published in 1992 with the title, Curriculum Guidelines for Multicultural Education.

            In 1986, Professor Banks was named a Distinguished Scholar/Researcher on Minority Education by the American Educa­tional Research Association (AERA) 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 AERA Research Review Award. In 1998, he received the Teachers of English of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL) 1998 Presidents’ Award. In 2001, he received the National Council for the Social Studies Distinguished Career Research in Social Studies Award.

           In 2004, Professor Banks was the first recipient of the newly established American Educational Research Association (AERA) Social Justice in Education Award for a career of research that advances social justice through education research. In 2005, he was awarded the UCLA Medal from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University’s highest honor. He delivered the 29th Annual Faculty Lecture at the University of Washington in 2005, the highest honor given to a professor at the University (Click here to view the lecture online). He also received in 2005 a Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University. In Fall, 2007, Professor Banks was the Tisch Distinguished Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.

            A former elementary school teacher, Profes­sor Banks received his Bachelor's degree in elemen­tary education and social science from Chicago State University and his Master's and Ph.D. degrees in these fields from Michigan State University. Professor Banks has served as a consultant to school districts, professional organizations, and universities throughout the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska) and in Canada, England, the Virgin Islands, Guam, The Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Israel, Portugal, Japan, China, and Ireland.

            Professor Banks was awarded a Spencer Fellowship by the National Academy of Education in 1973. In 1975, he was appointed by HEW Secretary Casper W. Weinberger to serve on the National Advisory Council on Ethnic Heritage Studies of the United States Office of Education. In 1982, he presented a paper in the Netherlands in a conference co-sponsored by the governments of the Netherlands and the United States. In June, 1983, he lectured in British universities in a lecture tour sponsored by the British Academy. Professor Banks was Vis­iting Professor of Education at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in 1985.

            During the 1976-77 academic year, Professor Banks studied multi-ethnic education programs in Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, and Great Britain. In 1980, he was awarded fellowships by the Kel­logg and Rockefeller Foundations. Dr. Banks' research on African American children who grow up in predominantly White suburban communities was summarized in the New York Times on July 30, 1984 and published in the Journal of Negro Education (Winter, 1984) (Click here to view the journal article).

            In 1982, Professor Banks was the Association of Teacher Educators Dis­tinguished Lecturer.  In 1989, he was the Ganders Dis­tinguished Lecturer at Syracuse University.  In 1991, he was the Hill Visit­ing Professor in the General College, the University of Min­nesota, Twin Cities. Professor Banks gave the Charles H. Thompson Lecture at Howard University in 1995. He gave the Sachs Lectures at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1996; and was the Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Eminent Scholar Lecturer at Florida State University in 1998.

            In 1990, Professor Banks gave the Freshman Convocation Address at the University of Washington. In 1996-97 he was a member of the National Research Council Committee that authored Improving Schooling for Language-Minority Children: A Research Agenda.  

           Professor Banks’ work has been widely honored. He has received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from six colleges and universities: Bank Street College of Education (New York City); University of Alaska (Fairbanks); The University of Wisconsin-Parkside; DePaul University (Chicago); Lewis and Clark College (Portland, Oregon); and Grinnell College (Iowa).

          Professor Banks' biography appears in the Dictionary of International Biography, Contemporary Authors, Leaders in Education, Who's Who in American Education, Men of Achievement, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World. For additional biographical information, please see: James Albert Banks, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. (Click here to link to the information).


Please send comments and revisions for this website via e-mail to: