Efforts aimed at improving mathematics learning for all students have tended to adopt a deficit-oriented perspective focusing on race-gap analysis or other social identifiers like socioeconomic status, SES, (Domina, et al. 2014; Loveless, 2008). This tendency is contrary to the view by situated learning theorists who consider learning as a process of becoming a member of a certain community of practice (Wenger, 1998). Doing well or not in a mathematics classroom, according to situated learning theorists, depends on the extent to which students identify with classroom norms (Boaler, 2002a, Cobb et al., 2009, Wood, 2013). Learning of mathematics involves students developing mathematical identities influenced by the classroom norms. This study examined the influence of an out-of-school mathematics mentoring and tutoring program known as Prepare2Nspire (P2N) on 12 high school students’ mathematical identities which served predominantly minority students from first generation, low SES families. This was accomplished by examining the mathematical identities of high school students’ prior to and after participating in P2N. A mixed methods design was used. Additionally, in order to provide a richer analysis of the influence of P2N on high school students’ mathematical identities, two interpretive frameworks by Cobb et al. (2009) and Nasir and Cooks (2009) were used. Results from this study indicate that less participatory pedagogies lead to high school students identifying themselves in three zones namely, zones of inclusion, uncertainty, and exclusion. Overall, results from this study indicate that mathematical identities are not fixed but fluid and that depending on the kind of pedagogy students can move across various zones. Whether high school students identify themselves with math or not depends on the kind of mathematical pedagogy and access to practice-linked identity resources.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2015. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Lesa Covington Clarkson. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 253 pages.
The Influence of an Out-Of-School Learning Program on High School Students’ Mathematics Identity Formation.
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