Race Perceptions, Societal Expectations, and P2N: Exploring Controllable Factors in Education and their Effects on Student Learning and Attitudes in Mathematics

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Race Perceptions, Societal Expectations, and P2N: Exploring Controllable Factors in Education and their Effects on Student Learning and Attitudes in Mathematics

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2016

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Previous research suggests that many students do not receive sufficient academic resources from school, and the current gaps between racial groups in math performance on standardized tests have been linked to this disparity. However, the most widely broadcasted depictions of the current “achievement” gap compare performance outcomes of different racial categories rather than different resource levels. Emphasizing a connection between test performance and race can mislead students to believe race causes differences in intelligence or performance, thus perpetuating racism and social bias. In the present study, 130 eleventh grade students with targeted racial and socioeconomic characteristics participated in a tutoring program, spending one year focusing on improving their understanding of and attitude towards mathematics. Results showed increases in standardized test scores over the course of the program. This suggests that the observed gap in mathematics performance may not be a function of race, and that by providing students with sufficient resources, the gap can be reduced. Thus by contributing to the continued dialogue and research surrounding educational disparities, this paper seeks to inform readers of an after-school program as a controllable factor in education, and analyze its impact on reducing the opportunity gap within a broader context.

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Connolly, Manju. (2016). Race Perceptions, Societal Expectations, and P2N: Exploring Controllable Factors in Education and their Effects on Student Learning and Attitudes in Mathematics. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/181396.

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