The Construction of Student Mathematical Identity and its Relationship to Academic Achievement

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The Construction of Student Mathematical Identity and its Relationship to Academic Achievement, Is A Well-Researched Topic, It Is To Be Used As A Guide Or Framework For Your Research.

Abstract

The California university and state college systems (UC and CSU) are committed to accepting a diverse student body. Although there has been some growth in the percentage of minority students admitted each year, a low number of minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students meet minimum entrance requirements. For example, in 2018, only 33% of socioeconomically disadvantaged African American
students and 39% Hispanic/Latinx students who graduated from California public high schools met minimum UC/CSU requirements (CDE, 2019).

Explanations for ineligibility include the fact that many high school students have not completed the requisite mathematics classes due in part to the inequitable practice of mathematics tracking. Students placed in lower mathematics tracks fail to receive the content they need to gain access to college preparatory math classes. Moreover, students
who struggle in math often develop identities of themselves as unable to learn mathematics, beliefs that can have persistent negative effects on their academic outcomes.

In this study, I examined the experiences of ninth-grade students from a majority minority low income high school placed in a lower mathematics track. Unlike their similarly academically placed peers, however, these students were enrolled in a reformorientated course designed to prepare them to enter the college-going pathway in one academic year. I sought to understand student experiences in the reform course in terms
of how their mathematics identities were being constructed in ways that might influence their academic outcomes. To understand the complexities that construct student’s identity and examine that relationship to academic outcomes, a mixed method research design
was employed.

Results suggest that there is a relationship between academic outcomes and students’ mathematical identities. This identity is a result of an inextricably interrelated network of influencing factors which include students’ level of confidence in their ability to do math, their grades, teacher/student relationships, and students’ fear of being wrong.
Due to the interrelated nature of these factors, results suggest that even addressing one of the factors in this network could impact students’ willingness to engage in class, alter their mathematical identity in positive ways, and ultimately redirect their academic pathway.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ………………………………………………………………………………… vii
Table of Contents ……………………………………………………………………………………………… x
List of Tables ………………………………………………………………………………………………… xiv
List of Figures ………………………………………………………………………………………………… xv
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………. 1
Assumptions and Access ………………………………………………………………………………… 2
Personal Experiences from the Field …………………………………………………………………. 4
Beliefs……………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Perceptions……………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Help! ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Statement of Problem …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
CHAPTER 2 LITURATURE REVIEW ……………………………………………………………… 11
Learning Community and Identity Construction ……………………………………………….. 12
Self-identity ………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Identity Defined …………………………………………………………………………….. 14
Classroom as Community………………………………………………………………… 15
Identity is Malleable ……………………………………………………………………….. 18
Theoretical Framing ……………………………………………………………………….. 20
The Development of a Student’s Mathematical Identity: Four Key Factors ……………. 21

Teaching Practices …………………………………………………………………………. 21
Teacher Expectations ……………………………………………………………………… 24
Peer to Peer Influences ……………………………………………………………………. 26
Ability-tracking ……………………………………………………………………………… 28
Reform Movement and Research Context ………………………………………………………… 31
Need for Reform: High School Focus ………………………………………………… 31
Research Context …………………………………………………………………………… 37
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 44
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODOLOGY AND LIMITATIONS ………. 47
Research Design ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
Mixed Methods ……………………………………………………………………………… 47
Case Study ……………………………………………………………………………………. 48
Research Methodology …………………………………………………………………………………. 49
Research Site and Sampling Procedures …………………………………………….. 49
Data Collection Procedures ……………………………………………………………… 51
Data Analysis Procedures ………………………………………………………………… 56
Research Limitations ……………………………………………………………………………………. 61
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS …………………………………………………………………………………… 63
Quantitative Results …………………………………………………………………………………….. 64
Student Academic Achievement ……………………………………………………….. 64

Student Mathematical Attitudes and Perceptions …………………………………. 67
Quantitative Summary…………………………………………………………………….. 71
Qualitative Results ………………………………………………………………………………………. 73
Relationship Between Grades and Confidence and Student Participation …. 73
Classroom Norms and Practices: Teacher and Student Interplay …………….. 78
Factors that Interact as they Influence Student Willingness to Participate … 86
Relationships and Relatability Matter ………………………………………………… 95
Teaching Practices: Variances Between Class Periods ………………………… 105
Qualitative Summary ……………………………………………………………………. 111
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 112
CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION ……………………………………………………………………………. 114
Productive Beliefs and Learning Opportunities ……………………………………………….. 116
Opportunities for Group Work ……………………………………………………….. 118
Opportunities for Discourse……………………………………………………………. 120
Interplay: Teacher Expectations, Student Dependence, and Willingness to Participate
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 121
Identity Construction: An Inextricably Interrelated Network ……………………………… 126
Identity Constructing Influencing Factors Inside a Triadic Relationship ……………… 130
Future Investigations …………………………………………………………………….. 132
Implications………………………………………………………………………………………………. 136

Reform Grading Practices in Secondary Mathematics ………………………… 136
Change Structures of Ninth Grade Mathematics ………………………………… 138
Understand the Interrelated Nature of Constructing Mathematical Identity
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 141
References ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 142

Additional information

Author

Ann Trescott

No of Chapters

5

No of Pages

176

Reference

YES

Format

PDF

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