Tuesday, December 29, 2015

They Count Also: African American Girls and Math (Dissertation review p.5)

Just spent the day reading my dissertation and just wanted to share!

Chapter 6 - Discussion, Recommendation, and Implications (page 83 of my dissertation) 

Implications for School Leaders

The girls in this study responded to various questions about gender and race; however these responses were limited.   Perhaps this is because they have not been confronted with specific biases that test their awareness of gender and racial issues.  I assert that their parents and teachers never acknowledged the potential impact or influence or race and gender on their educational and mathematical experiences.  Parents may wish to shield their daughters away from this issue but successful teacher of
African American students do not ignore them (Ladson-Billings, 1994).  Teachers need help to understand the strengths and needs of students who come for diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, who have specific disabilities, or who posses a special talent and interest in mathematics.  To accommodate differences among students effectively and sensitively, teachers also need to understand and confront their own beliefs and biases.  When we discourage students from engaging in public conversations about race and social justice, we lose an important component of education.  In a multicultural society, it is crucial to help students consider diversity, understanding and the places where the two intersect and clash.  We need to create classrooms that involve students in quest to make sense of their world.  Such classrooms authentically address equity, educate the whole child, and value each and every student (Brooks and Thompson, 2005).

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