Self-Perceptions of Advanced Mathematical Learners: A Focus on Sixth-Grade Latinos/as
Committee ChairMoll, Luis
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the social and educational contexts that impact students' perceptions of their mathematical learning and students' use of resistance in regard to these social and educational impacts within the sixth grade environment. Specifically, this study addressed the following overarching questions: (1) What makes the relationship between student self-perception and (mathematical) learning specific to these Latino student's circumstances/experiences? (2) How do students apply their individual prior knowledge, experiences, and beliefs to their situated classroom context and content? (3) What role do student relationships with teachers, parents, and peers have in the development of student self-esteem and self-perceptions?Data collection included: self-perception questionnaires, student work, mathematical task-based interviews, classroom observations, and focal group interviews.The findings of this study suggest that in the context of this advanced mathematical setting, the teacher and the case study students came together to create an accepting mathematical space. It is possible that students' academic confidence, liking for mathematics, relevance of mathematics to their future career goals, and seeing themselves as capable of having career goals beyond their current economic situations, helped them agree to the classroom situation rather than resist it.The case study students placed themselves in opposition to peers that did not share in the interest that they had toward mathematics. Students were capable of expressing themselves in linguistic forms that were comfortable to them and were allowed to see their language as a tool for learning mathematics. By creating a space that was academically and linguistically supportive to the case study students, the teacher found a means to nurturing his students to be intellectually confident, curious, and engaged. If the teacher-student relationship and student interest in mathematics are strong enough to overcome educational hurdles that students face then there are possibilities for researchers to investigate how to develop this relationship and mathematical interest in order to replace the presence of resistance with approval for students who struggle to connect to school and mathematics.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture