A CRITICAL EXPLORATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS' MATHEMATICS IDENTITIES AND THEIR SOCIAL CAPITAL
Cherkowski, Gina Nicole
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This case study explored how selected students' social capital impacted their mathematical identities inside a seventh-grade classroom. Mathematical identities were measured in terms of participation and alignment to general classroom norms and specific mathematical norms. Students' social capital was defined as belonging to the esteemed learning group inside the classroom. Data were gathered over the course of a school year and consisted of field notes, student and teacher interviews, surveys, archival data collection, and artifact analysis. Findings indicated that there was an interesting relationship between capital and mathematical identity in this particular study for these specific cases. More specifically, the two cases that evidenced high social capital maintained mathematical identities as doers of math for the duration of the study. Conversely, the two students with low capital had identities as resistors at the conclusion of the study. In conclusion, it was noted that capital and identity may be connected in important ways that impact whether a student gets to know and learn math inside the classroom. This finding is important as the purpose of this study was to gain insight into why certain students develop mathematical identities as doers of math while others merely cooperate or resist.