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Counter Narratives: Examining the Mathematical and Racial Identities of Black Boys who are Successful with School Mathematics

Source: 
Region 9 Equity Center: Region IX Equity Assistance Center at WestEd
Year: 
2011

This study investigated the mathematics and racial identities of Black 5th through 7th grade boys who attend school in a southern rural school division. The data pool consisted of focus group interviews, mathematics autobiographics, review of academic records, and observations. Four factors positively contributed to mathematics identity: (a) the development of computational fluency by third grade, (b) extrinsic recognitions, (c) relational connections, and (d) engagement with the unique qualities of mathematics. For these boys, racial identity in school is connected to perceptions of others’ school engagement; this sense of “otherness” lead to a redefinition of their own mathematics and racial identities.

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