ERIC Number: EJ1082149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
Robust and Fragile Mathematical Identities: A Framework for Exploring Racialized Experiences and High Achievement among Black College Students
McGee, Ebony O.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, v46 n5 p599-625 Nov 2015
I introduce the construct of fragile and robust identities for the purpose of exploring the experiences that influenced the mathematical and racial identities of high-achieving Black college students in mathematics and engineering. These students maintained high levels of academic achievement in these fields while enduring marginalization, stereotyping, and other forms of racialization. Their fragile mathematical identities were manifested in the way they were motivated to achieve in order to prove false the negative expectations of others. Their robust mathematical identities were characterized by an evolving sense of self-efficacy and discovery, a growing affinity and passion for mathematics, and a desire to be a mathematically inspiring role model. Extending the work on identity development, I recommend more nuanced interpretations of the interplay of human development, racialized experiences, and distinctly race-related risk and protective factors that complicate mathematical identity formation for Black college students in mathematics and engineering fields.
Descriptors: High Achievement, African American Students, College Students, Racial Factors, Student Experience, Mathematics Instruction, Identification (Psychology), Role Models, Social Bias, Social Attitudes, Expectation, Student Motivation, Coping, Influences, STEM Education, Resilience (Psychology), At Risk Students, Environmental Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A