Type of Document Dissertation Author Howse, Mark E. Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11022006-163249 Title African American Teachers' Beliefs about African American Mathematics Students Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Elizabeth Jakubowski, Ph.D. Committee Chair David Foulk, Ph.D. Committee Member Emanuel Shargel, Ph.D. Committee Member Leslie Aspinwall, Ph.D. Committee Member Keywords
- Comparative Teacher Education
- African American Mathematics Teacher Beliefs
- African American Teacher Beliefs
- African American Teacher Beliefs About African Am
- Teacher Beliefs And Student Performance
- Mathematics And Cultural Capital
- Mathematics Beliefs
- Teacher Definitions Of Mathematics
- African American Mathematics Students
- Mathematics Beliefs Index
Date of Defense 2006-08-17 Availability unrestricted AbstractRecent measures of educational progress indicate that student performance is on the rise. More students are taking advanced placement courses and attending college. However, the performance of African American students, particularly in mathematics, continues to lag behind that of white students. Several studies have examined various factors that influence the performance of African American students. Of particular interest are the beliefs of teachers and the impact of those beliefs on student performance. The purpose of this study was to explore African American teachersí beliefs about the nature of mathematics and the relationship between these beliefs and their beliefs about the performance of African American students. The study focused on thirty teachers that were employed in high schools where African American students made up 40% or more of the population. The research is based on the results of a survey instrument that was designed to capture and categorize teachersí beliefs on mathematics, mathematics students, and strategies for mathematics teaching.
Bourdieuís construct of cultural capital served as the primary theoretical lens used to evaluate the teachersí beliefs about students. Ernestís conceptualization of a hierarchy for describing teacher views on the nature of mathematics was employed to place the teachers into three math definition categories. Symbolic interactionism was used as a context for evaluating the impact of the teachersí beliefs on classroom interaction.
Data analysis revealed that the majority of the teachers held views of mathematics that were inconsistent with views that are endorsed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Evidence also shows that the majority of the teachers held relatively low beliefs about the performance of African American students. The study found that, contrary to the relationships described in much of the literature, the teachersí beliefs about mathematics had no associations with their beliefs about African American student performance or the strategies that the teachers employed in the teaching of mathematics.
The results of the study provided information that is useful to mathematics educators and researchers who are interested in understanding the factors that impact the performance of African American students. By examining teachersí beliefs within the context of race, this study sheds new light on the critical role of teachersí beliefs in classroom dynamics.
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