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ERIC Number: EJ1199868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2151-2612
Redefining Black Students' Success and High Achievement in Mathematics Education: Toward a Liberatory Paradigm
Davis, Julius
Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, v11 n1-2 p69-77 Dec 2018
Julius Davis is an associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development in the College of Education at Bowie State University. His research and scholarly interest focus is on Black male students and teachers, critical race theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and social justice in mathematics education. Davis opens this article with a poem in which M.K. Asante speaks of two sets of notes. Davis writes that the poem eloquently captures the dichotomy of the racial reality Black students face inside and outside of mathematics spaces. Though mathematics is typically considered completely objective, race-neutral, and culture-free, Black students often learn in White institutional space. White teachers dominate the field of mathematics, another signifier of a White institutional space. In addition to being taught by White teachers, Black students learn that White men created mathematics, and the purpose for learning mathematics is to get a high-paying job in White institutions. These assertions make up the crux of the Euro centric paradigm that pervades school mathematics and only serve White interests. These assertions do not lead to liberatory outcomes for Black people. In a liberatory paradigm, Black students must be taught to think communally and must be part of the process of developing institutions and systems to support the economic, political, social, and cultural advancements of their people. Thus, as Asante explains in his poem, Black students must take two sets of notes: one to pass the test and another to learn how to use mathematics to support liberation for themselves and their people. In this essay, Davis describes and critiques the Eurocentric paradigm that pervades mathematics education. He explains how the paradigm situates Black student success and high achievement to be aligned with the interests and standard of whiteness. Davis then describes key elements of the paradigm shift in mathematics education focused on successful and high achieving Black students and liberation. He redefines success and high achievement in mathematics by aligning it with a liberatory paradigm. Davis asserts that for liberatory outcomes to be achieved, the expectations, preparation, and definitions of success and high achievement must be connected to the larger goal of Black liberation in mathematics education and society. This liberatory paradigm is grounded in a diasporic view of Black history in mathematics, culture, values, and interests.
Journal of Urban Mathematics Education. Georgia State University, College of Education and Human Development, MSE, 30 Pryor Street Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30303. Tel: 404-413-8409; Fax: 404-413-8063; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A