Developing a Framework for Action to Promote Black Males Access to Algebra 1 by the Eighth Grade
Effective Years: 2021-2023
This project aims to increase the number of Black male youth who can be successful in advanced mathematics while in public schools. The researcher will use a mixed-methods design to gain a comprehensive and culturally appropriate student perspective. The project includes the implementation of a group counseling program for Black male students beginning in seventh grade and following them through eighth grade. The researcher will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to integrate quantitative and qualitative data from students and stakeholders to provide a theoretically sound foundation for future STEM education-related research. These data will be analyzed using two theoretical frameworks to create a baseline of new knowledge to develop culturally appropriate strategies for math instructors and school leaders.
The goal of this project is to advance programs, knowledge, and skills targeting Black male middle school students so that they can gain access to, and be successful in Algebra 1. This study will be guided by the following research questions: a) to what extent does the group intervention model increase the racial identity, resiliency, and mathematical identity scores of Black male seventh-graders compared to a wait-list control group? b) to what extent do stakeholders’ perceptions, understandings of structural challenges, and perceived support contribute to Black male seventh-graders successfully accessing Algebra 1 in the eighth grade? c) is there a relationship between the Black male students’ experiences with successfully accessing Algebra 1 in the eighth grade and their stakeholders’ perceptions? and d) what are the recommendations Black male students and their stakeholders offer as strategies for successfully accessing Algebra 1 in eighth grade and persisting to advance level math courses in the future? Developing a strong racial and mathematic identity for Black students is necessary for engaging in general school practices. STEM access, persistence, and other related predictors have been explored, but identifying strategies to help Black males sustain an interest in pursuing STEM fields is needed. This study will be among the first to use a triangulated explanatory mixed-method design to explore both Black students’ experiences, their stakeholders’ perceptions, and the integration of these findings when accessing Algebra 1 in eighth grade.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.