Access to Upper-Level Mathematics: The Stories of Successful African American Middle School Boys

Robert Q. Berry III University of Virginia

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This article is about 8 African American middle school boys who have experienced success in mathematics. Working within a phenomenological methodological framework, the researcher investigated the limitations these students encounter and the compensating factors they experience. Critical race theory was the theoretical framework for this study; counter-storytelling was utilized to capture the boys' experiences, which is in stark contrast to the dominant literature concerning African American males and mathematics. Five themes emerged from the data: (a) early educational experiences, (b) recognition of abilities and how it was achieved, (c) support systems, (d) positive mathematical and academic identity, and (e) alternative identities.

Contributor Notes

Robert Q. Berry III, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, 405 Emmet Street South, P.O. Box 400273, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4273;

(Corresponding author is Berry
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Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
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