Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Liberal Studies


Ethnic identity, or the set of self-ideas one has about one’s own ethnic group membership, is not seen as an area of development in K-12 classrooms, therefore, the researcher set to uncover benefits of aiding this development. Participants for the Capstone Project included 25 fifth-grade students in a public elementary classroom located on California’s Central Coast. The researcher found evidence suggesting students’ self-esteem is related to one’s ethnic backgrounds, as well as finding that students really enjoy learning about their own cultures and identities. The researcher believes this research is imperative in relation to her own personal career goals as a future educator in the United States public education system. As a future educator, the researcher understands the need for a higher understanding of ethnic identity, most importantly because diversity is a growing facet in this country that can be embraced rather than rejected.