Date of Award

Winter 12-13-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)

Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Desha Williams

First Committee Member

Dr. Corrie Davis

Second Committee Member

Dr. Amanda Richey

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore ways African American families, with middle school students, view learning mathematics and engagement within a theme school environment. The participants in this study included nine parents and ten students at an urban Title I theme school. The data collection process included two focus group interviews, nineteen semi-structured individual interviews, journal entries from each participant and 15 documents disseminated to parents from the school and from the district. Three themes emerged from the data: (a) the parents’ understanding/confusion about the “new math” and the effects on parent engagement with mathematics, (b) the strong mathematical identities of the participants, and (c) the broader engagement from three major communities: the theme school community, the “village” community, and the home community which further promotes mathematical engagement.

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