Research Library

This research is meant to articulate from a pedagogical and empirical sense, how educators and those who engage in educational research conceptualize ways to create opportunities for Black children to participate in mathematics, and how this task is taken up in a way that affirms their identity, cultural practices, and knowledge. Thus, I ask the complex but straightforward question: what forms of capital do Black students possess that could be advantageous to the learning of mathematics? In framing this review, I articulate the distinctions from seminal work done on Black children, and suggest that understanding Black students’ cultural capital implicates the quality of instruction that they receive. After creating a data set of articles focused on Black children’s learning of mathematics, I provide the reader with an argument of discovery outlining what conversations are embedded in the relevant literature. My findings are captured within a framework describing three interconnected claims related to capital: a) macro and micro issues related to their sociohistorical realities as related to resistance and resilience, b) communalism and a collective Black identity, and c) beauty in communication and non-dominant linguistic patterns. I contend that this capital that Black children possess, already predisposes them to advantages within mathematics, and highlight how at least five common theories interact with one another to solidify and explain these forms of capital. I conclude this study with a few implications, indeed ontological, epistemological, and methodological considerations for how educators, policymakers, and researchers might go on thinking about inclusive middle grades mathematics environments, and the research that could be taking place to improve these spaces for Black children.