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ERIC Number: ED521857
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 578
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-0473-1
The Inextricability of Identity, Participation, and Math Learning among Latino/a Undergraduate Students
Oppland, Sarah Beth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
This study holistically explores the experiences of two Latino/a undergraduate freshman pursuing or interested in pursuing STEM majors as they engage in an Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) Calculus I workshop; a mathematical community of practice recognized for assisting culturally diverse student groups in realizing mathematical success. The study presents a theoretical framework for exploring intersections among participants' narrative and participative identities to gain knowledge about how and why relationships among their multiple identities, participation, and access to math learning opportunities unfold and strengthen as they engage in a particular mathematical community of practice. Using counter story-telling methodology and life story interviews, this study describes through the participants' voices how their math identities intersect with their racial, cultural, gender, and class identities, separately and collectively, as they negotiate intricate experiences in and across societal, community, school, and family contexts throughout their lives. By applying multiple data sources to Wenger's (1998) social ecology of identity framework, this study also describes how the participants construct identities of participation and marginalization as workshop members and as appropriators of mathematical knowledge. Using in-depth case studies, this study explores how and why strengthened relationships form among the participants' identities as math learners, their participatory trajectories, and opportunities to learn mathematics in the ESP workshop over the course of a semester. A model is presented for each student that explicates these relationships. This research raised important considerations regarding the relationships that exist among Latino/a students' multiple identities, participation, and math learning. This includes the roles of racialized, cultural, gendered, and classed experiences; racial, culture, gender, and class identities; and the influence of private and socially (e.g., societal) constructed meanings of what it means to "be Latino/a" in relation to math participation and learning. This research also aims to contribute to building momentum for shifting the focus in the math education community away from underrepresented students' math achievement and persistence outcomes towards viewing their math success as strengthened relationships among their multiple identities, their participatory trajectories, and their ability to access math learning opportunities within and across various communities of practice. [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: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A