Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
Topics
Discussion
Announcements

Conceptualizing the African American Mathematics Teacher as a Key Figure in the African American Education Historical Narrative


by Lawrence M. Clark, Toya Jones Frank & Julius Davis — 2013

Background/Context: Historians and researchers have documented and explored the work and role of African American teachers in the U.S. educational system, yet there has been limited attention to the specific work, role, and experiences of African American mathematics teachers. To meaningfully and responsibly conceptualize the role of African American mathematics teachers and better understand their work in U.S. schools, analytic approaches are needed to help us understand cases of African American mathematics teachers as representations of a complex and ever-evolving series of intertwined contexts, forces, and events that include critical events along historical timelines (i.e., U.S. educational system, mathematics education, technological innovation and development, African American teaching force).

Purpose/Objective: The purpose of this article is to challenge readers to consider the African American mathematics teacher as a conceptual entity that embodies characteristics, practices, and dispositions that are potentially meaningful for students, particularly African American students, in ways that support students’ capacity to participate and perform within the racialized contexts of mathematics education, the broader schooling experience, and broader society.

Design: Structured as an analytic essay, this article provides a rationale and potential directions of inquiry for historians and researchers open to explorations of relationships between race, mathematics education, teacher identity, and teacher practice.

Conclusions/Recommendations: We make two assertions about the African American mathematics teacher that help to conceptualize his or her role as a theoretical construct. First, the African American mathematics teacher is a boundary spanner with membership in multiple communities—a mathematically proficient and intellectually powerful African American person within a historically disempowered African American community with a history of inaccessibility to and underperformance in mathematics. Second, through various implicit and explicit means and micro-interactions, the African American mathematics teacher has the potential to engage in liberatory mathematics pedagogy, a pedagogy that serves to dismantle racialized hierarchies of mathematics ability. We encourage mathematics education researchers to interrogate, challenge, critique, and build on conceptualizations of the African American mathematics teacher as an entity that represents a unique confluence of experiences, perspectives, dispositions, and knowledge domains critical to the education of students. In doing so, it is our hope that theories of student learning, participation, and performance will more willingly embrace, acknowledge, and incorporate the inescapable dynamics of race, class, student identity, and teacher identity.



To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase Conceptualizing the African American Mathematics Teacher as a Key Figure in the African American Education Historical Narrative
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 115 Number 2, 2013, p. 1-29
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16840, Date Accessed: 10/19/2017 12:32:37 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools

Related Media


Related Articles

Related Discussion
 
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Lawrence Clark
    University of Maryland, College Park
    E-mail Author
    LAWRENCE M. CLARK is an assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He conducts both quantitative and qualitative research, with a focus on exploring the relationships between mathematics teachers’ experiences, knowledge domains, and beliefs, particularly in the contexts of urban schools. Furthermore, a thread of his research explores the work and role of African American mathematics teachers in the U.S. education narrative. His most recent publications include “Examining Dilemmas of Practice Associated With Integrating Technology Into Mathematics Classrooms Serving Urban Students” (w/ A. B. Anthony, Urban Education) and “Researching African American Mathematics Teachers of African American Students: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations” (w/ W. Johnson & D. Chazan, in D. Martin (Ed.), Mathematics Teaching, Learning, and Liberation in the Lives of Black Children).
  • Toya Jones Frank
    University of Maryland, College Park
    E-mail Author
    TOYA JONES FRANK is a doctoral candidate in the Center for Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include teacher beliefs about the teaching and learning of mathematics and student ability, issues of equity in mathematics education as they relate to access to opportunities to learn, and African American mathematics teachers’ and students’ access to mathematics from a historical perspective.
  • Julius Davis
    Bowie State University
    E-mail Author
    JULIUS DAVIS is an assistant professor in the College of Education at Bowie State University in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Professional Development. He has two main areas of research that focus on African American students and African American mathematics teachers. His research of African American students emanated from his dissertation research of Black middle school students’ lived realities and mathematics education. He used critical race theory to examine the role of race, racism, class, and power in determining the type of education African American students received in mathematics. He coauthored “Racism, Assessment, and Instructional Practices: Implications for Mathematics Teachers of African American students” in the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education. While working as a research assistant in the Center for Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, he developed research exploring the historical and contemporary experiences and practices of African American mathematics teachers.
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue

Submit
EMAIL

Twitter

RSS