Adapted Measure of Math Engagement: Designing Self-Report Measures of Mathematics Engagement for Black and Latina/o Middle School Students (Collaborative Research: Holquist)

This project focuses on developing the Adapted Measure of Math Engagement (AM-ME), a culturally sustaining self-report measure of Black and Latina/o middle school students’ mathematics engagement. By developing a measure of mathematics engagement that centers Black and Latina/o students’ experiences, this project offers insight into creating inclusive mathematics learning environments and culturally sustaining understandings of what it means to be engaged in mathematics.

Full Description

Mathematics is a critical gatekeeper for access and success in STEM; thus, failing to engage Black and Latina/o students in mathematics classes cascades into limited individual mobility and widened societal inequity. To date, research and measures of Black and Latina/o student engagement are often based on deficit-based perspectives, which fail to capture the many important ways that mathematics can be engaging for these students. For example, most measures of math engagement do not highlight how Black and Latina/o students often overcome racially/ethnically-rooted stereotypes and discrimination in mathematics, nor do the measures acknowledge Black and Latina/o students’ culturally-rooted funds of knowledge. To address these concerns, this project focuses on developing the Adapted Measure of Math Engagement (AM-ME), a culturally sustaining self-report measure of Black and Latina/o middle school students’ mathematics engagement. By developing a measure of mathematics engagement that centers Black and Latina/o students’ experiences, this project offers insight into creating inclusive mathematics learning environments and culturally sustaining understandings of what it means to be engaged in mathematics.

This project is guided by interdisciplinary, strengths-based and equity perspectives, and is being conducted in deep partnership with practitioners and Black and Latina/o students in six racially diverse, urban middle schools. The project will (1) qualitatively investigate the experiences of Black and Latina/o middle school students’ engagement in mathematics, and (2) develop and produce evidence of validity and reliability for a multi-dimensional measure of Black and Latina/o student mathematics engagement. It is anticipated that that the measure and results will have broader impact as they may transfer to other contexts, particularly other urban schools. Additionally, the critical participatory action research design has a direct impact on promoting diversity in the field of STEM research as Black and Latina/o students gain experience conducting research and practitioners grow in their capacity to authentically listen to and uplift Black and Latina/o voices. By prioritizing and uplifting the voices of Black and Latina/o students through collaborative meaning-making and using rigorous strategies from modern measurement theory, the project advances knowledge about equitable mathematics learning experiences for Black and Latina/o middle-school students.

Project Materials

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