Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Thomasina Hassler, Ph.D.


Thomasina Hassler, Ph.D.

Cheryl Osby, Ph.D.

Shawn Woodhouse, Ph.D.


Mathematics as a discipline has ignored the experiences of African American students, making it difficult for them to develop strong mathematical identities and racial identities in relation to math. Black children and their academic achievements are often framed negatively, and underachievement and failure are often emphasized over their brilliance and resilience. This qualitative study adds to the limited body of knowledge by examining student perspectives and socialization factors that contribute to positive math identity and achievement in middle school students. Using a Critical Race Theory framework, data was collected through semi-structured interviews and math autobiographies that were structured around the following questions: 1) What perceptions do Black middle school students have on contributors to positive math identity and success? 2) What teacher practices do Black middle school students feel contribute to their success? And 3) How do Black middle school students author themselves into the narrative of mathematics? The participants were middle school students from a small school district in the Midwest. Themes derived from interviews, math autobiographies, and professional and personal experience were used to create a composite counterstory.