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ERIC Number: ED569006
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 229
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-8091-9
When Mathematics Works in Black: A Case Study of Effective Mathematics Instruction for African American Children
Hakim, Khalel
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
The purpose of this study was to describe and explain the 5th grade mathematics teaching practice of an African American female teacher in a predominantly African American classroom that consistently meets and/or exceeds Michigan's mathematics proficiency standards. Using multiple emancipatory lenses, and a single case study method that employed participant observation, interview, and artifact, this study examined a teacher participant's practice. A set of pedagogical practices not included in the dominant discourse on mathematics pedagogy emerged. The interpretation of these practices used non-traditional, non-Eurocentric analytical criteria. That is, the dominant criteria of objectivity, reliability, and validity were considered mostly inadequate measures (Reviere, 2001). Instead, the study used Africalogical; Black feminist, and culturally responsive conceptual frameworks whose literatures are mostly silenced in mainstream mathematics education discourse. The aim was to better understand, and to push the inquiry and discourse into a place where the inquiry and the process of pedagogical construction did not take precedence over the values, interests, and perspectives of the people being researched. One significant aspect of this study is that it challenges the absence of African American specific research in mathematics education, e.g. teacher or student successes, and the presence of Black women in teaching - who for more than 100 years represented the majority of teachers teaching Black children prior to the massive firings of Black teachers between 1950 and 1970 (Fairclough, 2007; Ladson-Billings, 2004; Powell, 2002). Significant as well is that in thirty years of mathematics education reform African American children have not been helped to significantly reduce a woefully large and consistent gap in mathematics achievement between themselves and European American students. Although the reasons for this continued gap are complex, most (Clark, Johnson, Chazen, 2009; Ladson-Billing & Tate, 2005; Martin, 2008, 2009; Scheurich, 1997) agree that a major factor is that only recently, and still tentatively, have issues or voices of scholarship of color been included in the dominant discourse (e.g. Moses, 2002; Nasir, 2008, etc.). Hence, this work seeks to contribute to this growing chorus of diverse voices about what can and should be done to ensure that all students receive equitable opportunities to become mathematically literate. [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: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan