Disrupting Research, Theory, and Pedagogy With Critical Race Theory in Mathematics Education for Black Populations

Authors

  • Julius Davis Bowie State University

Keywords:

critical legal studies, critical race theory, mathematics education

Abstract

Mathematics education consists of dominant research, theoretical, and pedagogical perspectives that frame Black students and adults from a deficit perspective. Critical race theory in mathematics education (CRT(ME)) provides a framework that can disrupt the field to support Black students and adults. CRT(ME) is essential because it offers a lens to examine the permanence of race, racism, classism, sexism, and other forms of oppression. CRT(ME) provides mathematics educators with the tools to achieve racial justice and liberation for Black populations both within and outside of the discipline. Scholars have called for increased CRT(ME) use for doctoral candidates and faculty to usher in a new paradigm. However, researchers interested in using CRT(ME) must first develop knowledge and understanding of critical legal studies, as well as CRT in law, education, and mathematics education. In this commentary article, I provide a brief overview of my CRT(ME) journey; examine CRT in law, education, and mathematics education; and elaborate on how to continue to move the framework forward in the field.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Julius Davis, Bowie State University

Julius Davis is an assistant professor of mathematics education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Professional Development at Bowie State University. His research focuses on African American students' lived realities, schooling and mathematics education in urban communities.

References

Allen, K. M., Davis, J., Garraway, R. L., & Burt, J. M. (2018). Every student succeeds (except for Black males) act. Teachers College Record, 120(13), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F016146811812001303

Anderson, S. E. (1990). Worldmath curriculum: Fighting Eurocentrism in mathematics. The Journal of Negro Education, 59(3), 348–359.

Apple, M. W. (1992). Do the standards go far enough? Power, policy, and practice in mathemat-ics education. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 23(5), 412–431.

Bell, D. A., Jr. (1980). Brown v. Board of Education and the interest-convergence dilemma. Har-vard Law Review, 93(3), 518–533.

Berry, R. Q., III. (2003). Voices of African American male students: A portrait of successful middle school students [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Berry, R. Q., III. (2005). Voices of success: Descriptive portraits of two successful African Amer-ican male middle school mathematics students. Journal of African American Studies, 8(4), 46–62. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-005-1003-y

Berry, R. Q., III. (2008). Access to upper-level mathematics: The stories of successful African American middle school boys. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39(5), 464–488.

Berry, R. Q., III, Ellis, M., & Hughes, S. (2014). Examining a history of failed reforms and re-cent stories of success: Mathematics education and Black learners of mathematics in the United States. Race Ethnicity and Education, 17(4), 540–568. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2013.818534

Brown, S. Y. (1999). A journey into the problematic terrain of African American students and school mathematics [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The Ohio State University.

Castagno, A. E. (2009). Commonsense understandings of equality and social change: A critical race theory analysis of liberalism at Spruce Middle School. International Journal of Quali-tative Studies in Education, 22(6), 755–768.

Cho, S., Crenshaw, K. W., & McCall, L. (2013). Toward a field of intersectionality studies: Theory, applications, and praxis. Signs, 38(4), 785–810.

Cobb, F., & Russell, N. M. (2015). Meritocracy or complexity: Problematizing racial disparities in mathematics assessment within the context of curricular structures, practices, and dis-course. Journal of Education Policy, 30(5), 631–649. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680939.2014.983551

Corey, D. L. (2000). An African American male student learning mathematics in a web-based

environment: How the absence of traditional classroom cultural differences affects his

learning [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Florida State University.

Corey, D. L., & Bower, B. L. (2005). The experiences of an African American male learning

mathematics in the traditional and the online classroom—A case study. The Journal of

Negro Education, 74(4), 321–331.

Crenshaw, K. W. (1988). Race, reform, and retrenchment: Transformation and legitimation in antidiscrimination law. Harvard Law Review, 101, 1331–1387.

Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chica-go Legal Forum, 1989(1), 139–167.

Davis, J. (2010). A critical ethnography of Black middle school students’ lived realities and mathematics education [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Morgan State University.

Davis, J. (2014). The mathematical experiences of Black males in a predominantly Black urban middle school and community. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Sci-ence and Technology, 2(3), 206–222.

Davis, J. (2016). Free to conduct research of race and racism in my West Baltimore community. In R. T. Palmer, L. J. Walker, R.B. Goings, C. Troy, C. T. Gipson, & F. Commodore (Eds.), Graduate education at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) (pp. 79–89). Routledge.

Davis, J. (2019). Using critical race theory as a pedagogical, theoretical, methodological, and ana-lytical tool in mathematics education for Black students in urban areas. In J. Davis & C.C. Jett (Eds.), Critical race theory in mathematics education (pp. 183–205). Routledge.

Davis, J., & Jett, C. C. (Eds.). (2019). Critical race theory in mathematics education. Routledge.

Davis, J., & Martin, D. B. (2008). Racism, assessment, and instructional practices: Implications for mathematics teachers of African American students. Journal of Urban Mathematics Ed-ucation, 1(1), 10–34. https://doi.org/10.21423/jume-v1i1a14

Delgado, R. (1989). Storytelling for oppositionists and others: A plea for narrative. Michigan Law Review, 87(8), 2411–2441.

Delgado, R. (Ed.). (1995). Critical race theory: The cutting edge. Temple University Press.

Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical race theory: An introduction. NYU Press.

Dixson, A. D., & Rousseau, C. K. (Eds.). (2006). Critical race theory in education: All God’s children got a song. Routledge.

Gillborn, D., Warmington, P., & Demack, S. (2018). QuantCrit: Education, policy, ‘Big Data’ and principles for a critical race theory of statistics. Race Ethnicity and Education, 21(2), 158–179. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2017.1377417

Gould, S. J. (1981). The mismeasure of man. W. W. Norton & Company.

Gould, S. J. (1995). Curveball. In S. Fraser (Ed.), The bell curve wars: Race, intelligence, and the future of America (pp. 11–22). BasicBooks.

Gutiérrez, R. (2017). Why mathematics (education) was late to the backlash party: The need for a revolution. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 10(2), 8–24. https://doi.org/10.21423/jume-v10i2a347

Harris, A. (2021, May 7). The GOP’s ‘critical race theory’ obsession. The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/05/gops-critical-race-theory-fixation-explained/618828/

Harris, C. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard Law Review, 106(8), 1707–1791.

Herrnstein, R. J., & Murray, C. (1994). The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in Ameri-can life. The Free Press.

Jensen, A. R. (1969). How much can we boost IQ and scholastic achievement? Harvard Educa-tional Review, 39, 1–123.

Jett, C. C. (2009). African American men and college mathematics: Gaining access and attaining success [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Georgia State University.

Jett, C. C. (2011). “I once was lost, but now am found”: The mathematics journey of an African American male mathematics doctoral student. Journal of Black Studies, 42(7), 1125–1147.

Jett, C. C. (2012). Critical race theory interwoven with mathematics education research. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 5(1), 21–30. https://doi.org/10.21423/jume-v5i1a163

Jett, C. C. (2019). Mathematical persistence among four African American male graduate stu-dents: A critical race analysis of their experiences. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 50(3), 311–340. https://doi.org/10.5951/jresematheduc.50.3.0311

Klinghoffer, D. (2020, July 7). White fragility—A free pass for scientists? Evolution News & Science Today. https://evolutionnews.org/2020/07/white-fragility-a-free-pass-for-scientists/

Ladson-Billings, G. (1998). Just what is critical race theory and what's it doing in a nice field like education? International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11(1), 7–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/095183998236863

Ladson-Billings, G. J. (1999). Chapter 7: Preparing teachers for diverse student populations: A critical race theory perspective. Review of Research in Education, 24(1), 211–247. https://doi.org/10.3102%2F0091732X024001211

Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). From the achievement gap to the education debt: Understanding achievement in U.S. schools. Educational Researcher, 35(7), 3–12.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2013). Critical race theory—What it is not! In M. Lynn & A.D. Dixson (Eds.), Handbook of critical race theory in education (pp. 34–47). Routledge.

Ladson-Billings, G., & Tate, W. F. (1995). Towards a critical race theory of education. Teachers College Record, 97(1), 47–68.

Larnell, G. V., Bullock, E. C., & Jett, C. C. (2016). Rethinking teaching and learning mathemat-ics for social justice from a critical race perspective. Journal of Education, 196(1), 19–29.

Leonard, J. (2007). Culturally specific pedagogy in the mathematics classroom: Strategies for teachers and students. Routledge.

Leonard, J. (2009). “Still not saved”: The power of mathematics to liberate the oppressed. In D. B. Martin (Ed.), Mathematics teaching, learning, and liberation in the lives of Black chil-dren (pp. 304–330). Routledge.

Leonard, J., McKee, M., & Williams, Y. M. (2013). Not “waiting for superman”: Policy impli-cations for Black children attending public schools. In J. Leonard & D. B. Martin (Eds.), The brilliance of Black children in mathematics: Beyond the numbers and toward new dis-course (pp. 95–119). Information Age Publishing.

Lopez, G. R. (2003). The (racially neutral) politics of education: A critical race theory perspec-tive. Educational Administration Quarterly, 39(1), 68–94. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0013161X02239761

Lynn, M. (1999). Toward a critical race pedagogy: A research note. Urban Education, 33(5), 606–626. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0042085999335004

Lynn, M. (2004). Inserting the ‘race’ into critical pedagogy: An analysis of ‘race‐based epistemol-ogies.’ Educational Philosophy and Theory, 36(2), 153–165.

Lynn, M., & Dixson, A. D. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of critical race theory in education. Routledge.

Lynn, M., Yosso, T. J., Solórzano, D. G., & Parker, L. (2002). Critical race theory and educa-tion: Qualitative research in the new millennium. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 3–6.

Martin, D. B. (2006). Mathematics learning and participation as racialized forms of experience: African American parents speak on the struggle for mathematics literacy. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 8(3), 197–229.

Martin, D. B. (2007). Beyond missionaries or cannibals: Who should teach mathematics to Afri-can American children? The High School Journal, 91(1), 6–28.

Martin, D. B. (2008). E(race)ing race from a national conversation on mathematics teaching and learning: The national mathematics advisory panel as White institutional space. The Math-ematics Enthusiast, 5(2&3), 387–398.

Martin, D. B. (2009). Researching race in mathematics education. Teachers College Record, 111(2), 295–338.

Martin, D. B., Rousseau Anderson, C., & Shah, N. (2017). Race and mathematics education. In J. Cai (Ed.), Compendium for research in mathematics education (pp. 607–636). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Matsuda, M. J. (1991). Voices of America: Accent, antidiscrimination law, and a jurisprudence for the last reconstruction. Yale Law Journal, 100, 1329–1407.

McGee, E. O. (2009). Race, identity, and resilience: Black college students negotiating success in mathematics and engineering [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Illinois at Chicago.

McGee, E. O. (2013). Growing up Black and brilliant: Narratives of two mathematically high-achieving college students. In J. Leonard & D.B. Martin (Eds.), The brilliance of Black children in mathematics: Beyond the numbers and toward new discourse (pp. 247–272). Information Age Publishing.

McGee, E. O., & Martin, D. B. (2011). “You would not believe what I have to go through to prove my intellectual value!” Stereotype management among academically successful Black mathematics and engineering students. American Educational Research Journal, 48(6), 1347–1389. https://doi.org/10.3102%2F0002831211423972

Parker, L., Deyhle, D., & Villenas, S. (Eds.). (1999). Race is … Race isn’t: Critical race theory and qualitative studies in education. Routledge.

Parker, L., & Lynn, M. (2002). What’s race got to do with it? Critical race theory’s conflicts with and connections to qualitative research methodology and epistemology. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 7–22. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F107780040200800102

Rousseau Anderson, C. (2019). “Critical what what?” Critical race theory and mathematics educa-tion. In J. Davis & C.C. Jett (Eds.), Critical race theory in mathematics education (pp. 18–31). Routledge.

Rousseau Anderson, C., & Powell, A. (2009). A metropolitan perspective on mathematics educa-tion: Lessons learned from a “rural” school district. Journal of Urban Mathematics Educa-tion, 2(1), 5–21. https://doi.org/10.21423/jume-v2i1a34

Rufo, C. F. (2020a, July 16). Obscene federal ‘diversity training’ scam prospers—even under Trump. New York Post. https://nypost.com/2020/07/16/obscene-federal-diversity-training-scam-prospers-even-under-trump/

Rufo, C. F. (2020b, July 18). “White fragility” comes to Washington: Profiteering race theorists expand their footprint in the federal bureaucracy. City Journal. https://www.city-journal.org/white-fragility-comes-to-washington

Russell, N. (2013). Unpacking brilliance: A new discourse for Black students and successful mathematics achievement. In J. Leonard & D. B. Martin (Eds.), The brilliance of Black children in mathematics: Beyond the numbers and toward new discourse (pp. 295–319). Information Age Publishing.

Snipes, V. (1997). Examination of the mathematical education of African Americans in North Carolina and Louisiana utilizing critical race theory of education [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Florida State University.

Snipes, V. T., & Waters, R. D. (2005). The mathematics education of African Americans in North Carolina: From the Brown decision to No Child Left Behind. Negro Educational Review, 56(2/3), 107–126.

Solórzano, D. G. (1997). Images and words that wound: Critical race theory, racial stereotyping, and teacher education. Teacher Education Quarterly, 24(3), 5–19.

Solórzano, D., & Solórzano, R. (1995). The Chicano educational experience: A framework for effective schools in Chicano communities. Educational Policy, 9(3), 293–314.

Solórzano, D., & Villalpando, O. (1998). Critical race theory: Marginality and the experience of students of color in higher education. In C. Torres & T. Mitchell (Eds.), Sociology of edu-cation: Emerging perspectives (pp. 211–224). State University of New York Press.

Solórzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical race methodology: Counter-storytelling as an analytical framework for educational research. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 23–44. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F107780040200800103

Stovall, D. (2004). School leader as negotiator: Critical race theory, praxis, and the creation of productive space. Multicultural Education, 12(2), 8–12.

Strutchens, M., & Westbrook, S. K. (2009). Opportunities to learn geometry: Listening to the voices of three African American high school students. In D. B. Martin (Ed.), Mathematics teaching, learning, and liberation in the lives of Black children (pp. 249–264). Routledge.

Tate, W. F., IV. (1993). Advocacy versus economics: A critical race analysis of the proposed na-tional assessment in mathematics. Thresholds in Education, 19(1–2), 16–22.

Tate, W. F., IV. (1997). Critical race theory and education: History, theory, and implications. In M. Apple (Ed.), Review of Research in Education (pp. 195–247). American Educational Research Association.

Tate, W. F., IV, Ladson-Billings, G., & Grant, C. (1993). The Brown decision revisited: Math-ematizing social problems. Educational Policy, 7(3), 255–275. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0895904893007003002

Terry, C. L. (2009). An exploration of the impact of critical math literacies and alternative schooling spaces on the identity development of high school-aged Black males in South Los Angeles [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of California.

Terry, C. L. (2010). Prisons, pipelines, and the president: Developing critical math literacy through participatory action research. Journal of African American Males in Educa-tion, 1(2), 73–104.

Terry, C. L. (2011). Mathematical counterstory and African American male students: Urban math-ematics education from a critical race theory perspective. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 4(1), 23–49. https://doi.org/10.21423/jume-v4i1a98

Terry, C. L., & McGee, E. O. (2012). “I’ve come too far, I’ve worked too hard”: Reinforcement of support structures among Black male mathematics students. Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, 3(2), 73–85.

Wilson, J. A. (2018). “Ain’t I a woman?”: Black women negotiate and resist systemic oppres-sion in undergraduate engineering and mathematics disciplines [Unpublished doctoral dis-sertation]. University of South Florida.

Yamamoto, E. K. (1997). Critical race praxis: Race theory and political lawyering practice in post-civil rights America. Michigan Law Review, 95(4), 821–900.

Downloads

Published

2022-05-27

Issue

Section

FIELD DISRUPTIONS AND FIELD CONNECTIONS