An African American male student learning mathematics in a web-based environment: How the absence of traditional classroom cultural differences effects his learning
Darryl Lynn Corey, The Florida State University, United States
The Florida State University . Awarded
This study utilizes the experiences of one African American male mathematics student, from a local high school, whose performance has been below average in his mathematics course. The purpose of this study was to examine if learning mathematics at a distance, within a web supported learning environment, provided a more appropriate learning atmosphere for this African American male student's learning of mathematics. This research project followed the model of case study research and qualitative research methods as laid out in Merriam's Case study research in education—A qualitative approach (1988). Other issue questions were also addressed such as: what effects do the cultural differences between a white female mathematics teacher and an African American male mathematics student have on that student's ability to learn and do mathematics?
In order to analyze whether studying mathematics within a web supported learning environment provided a more appropriate learning atmosphere for this African American male mathematics student, the critical race theory of education was utilized. Critical race theory of education focuses on two primary issues: (1) institutional and structural racism and (2) property rights (Ladson-Billings and Tate, 1995). Critical race theory contest the doctrine of content and viewpoint impartiality.
Data collection methods utilized for this study included interviews and observations as well as the collection of student artifacts. The artifacts included exams, quizzes, daily work, and homework. A teacher questionnaire was also used.
The findings show that the student favored the web supported environment to the traditional classroom environment. He also did not feel that he was given equal access to learning within the classroom environment. The findings also show that the culture of the teacher, the classroom, and the curriculum, played major roles in this outcome. The findings and recommendations are of value not only to mathematics educator, but to all educators.
Corey, D.L. An African American male student learning mathematics in a web-based environment: How the absence of traditional classroom cultural differences effects his learning. Ph.D. thesis, The Florida State University.
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