Institutional factors that affect the mathematical achievement of African American females

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University of Alabama Libraries

This dissertation explored how institutional factors impact the mathematical achievement of African American middle school females. The purpose of the research was to provide insight into African American females' perception of their mathematics experiences and demonstrate how both internal and external factors contribute to their achievement. Data collection occurred at a middle school in Southeastern Alabama and included classroom observations, individual interviews, participant journals, and analysis of state standardized assessments, report card grades, discipline information, and system-wide benchmarks. The achievement gap and resiliency research served as the framework for analyzing the effect of motivational factors on the achievement of African American females in mathematics. The findings in this study established that internal resiliency factors, such as persistence and confidence in self are essential to continuous improvement in mathematics. Further the data demonostrated that school related factors such as teacher, peer interaction, and engaging strategies assist in shaping students' attitude towards mathematics. The implications for this research are for educators to reassess hidden biases and begin to view African American females as a rising minority model for resiliency and mathematical excellence.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
African American studies, Mathematics education, Gender studies