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ERIC Number: ED517775
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 222
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-4432-0
"Meek, But Not Weak!" A Resilient Black Female Mathematics Teacher Composes a Purposeful Life
Leavitt, Della Ruth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
This narrative case study of a Black female middle grades mathematics teacher in an urban school provides an in-depth look at one teacher's life story, resilience, and teaching practices in a racialized environment. The study gives particular attention to the factors that contributed to her strength and resilience: family and faith. This view of the teacher's life and teaching experiences are told by the author with support of the teacher. This National Board-certified teacher with an engineering degree is an exemplar not by these strictly-defined criteria, but based on her character and her actions. She teaches racially diverse students who are not expected to excel. She disproves low expectations by demonstrating (1) student advocacy, (2) reflective teaching strategies of mathematics concepts, (3) creation of a learning environment where students feel free to bring up social issues outside of mathematics, (4) sees herself with family, faith-based support that fits with her racial, gender and teacher identities, (5) willingness to speak out in difficult situations, (6) relationships with parents that support student learning and (7) isolation from fellow teachers and (8) active pursuit of administrative support. This study compels me to call for a comprehensive conceptualization of a teacher that reminds us to consider the "Teacher as Human Being". This concept is not meant to over-emphasize individualized teaching; rather, it recognizes the collective humanity we each experience differently. This perspective expands the boundaries of current definitions of effective mathematics teachers. This conceptualization brings person-centered considerations to the conversations of "what" makes for a highly qualified teacher by asking "who" is a highly qualified teacher. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A