Examining Mathematics Identity Development of Six Black Male Students After Four Years of Social Justice Inspired Algebra Project Mathematics

Melva R. Grant, Old Dominion University
Helen Crompton, Old Dominion University
Deana J. Ford

© JUME 2015.

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In this article, the authors examine the mathematics identity development of six Black male students over the course of a 4-year The Algebra Project Cohort Model (APCM) initiative. Mathematics identity here is defined as participation through interactions and positioning of self and others. Data collection included nearly 450 minutes of video recordings of small-group, mathematics problem solving in which student actions, coded as acts of participation, were tallied. These tallied actions were conceptualized descriptively in terms of mathematics identity using the lenses of agency, accountability, and work practices. The analyses suggest that the APCM students’ confidence in self and peers increased over the 4 years, they consistently chose to engage in mathematics, and their reliance on knowledgeable others less-ened. Opportunities for future research and implications for policy makers and other stakeholders are discussed.