Learners of Mathematics: High School Students' Perspectives of Culturally Relevant Mathematics Pedagogy

Abstract

Culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) has been suggested by researchers as one method for improving mathematics education among African-American students, but very little research take into account the students' perspectives of CRP. This case study examines students' perspectives of CRP and the effect that participating in culturally relevant mathematics instruction has on students' attitude and interest toward mathematics. Five students that participated in a culturally relevant mathematics intervention were interviewed. African-American students in the study held positive views of CRP and preferred the method over traditional mathematics instruction. There were six themes developed from the results of the interviews: (1) home-like classrooms; (2) ethic of caring; (3) participation opportunities; (4) technology use; (5) confidence; and (6) motivation. In addition, all students that participated in the study experienced an improved attitude and/or interest toward mathematics.

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Correspondence to Tarcia Lasha Hubert.

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Tarcia Hubert is a mathematics education graduate student at Texas A&M University, College Station, and a mathematics instructor at Huston-Tillotson University, Austin. Her research interests focus on culturally relevant mathematics pedagogy and enhancing mathematics performance and understanding among African-American students. This study is a part of her dissertation entitled Empowering and Facilitating Students' Mathematics Learning: An Investigation of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for High School Mathematics Instruction headed by committee chair Dr. Robert M. Capraro.

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Hubert, T.L. Learners of Mathematics: High School Students' Perspectives of Culturally Relevant Mathematics Pedagogy. J Afr Am St 18, 324–336 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-013-9273-2

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Keywords

  • Culturally relevant pedagogy
  • Mathematics
  • High school
  • Attitude
  • Interest