African American Male Adolescents, Schooling (and Mathematics): Deficiency, Rejection, and Achievement
The academic achievement gap, particularly the mathematics achievement gap, between Black students and their White counterparts has been well documented with numerical facts. As mathematics education researchers attempt to develop theories and practices that assist in eradicating the gap, they would serve mathematics education well if they would expand the sphere of their research into the sociocultural arena. To assist in expanding the sphere, this article presents a review of key historical and current theoretical perspectives regarding the schooling experiences of African American students, with an emphasis on African American male students, borrowed from the disciplines of anthropology, social psychology, and sociology. The review is organized around three discourse clusters: the discourse of deficiency, the discourse of rejection, and the discourse of achievement. The author suggests that researchers move away from the discourses of deficiency and rejection and toward the discourse of achievement when developing sound education theories and classroom practices that assist in eradicating the academic (and mathematics) achievement gap.