Identity, Goals, and Learning: Mathematics in Cultural Practice
In this article, I explore and elaborate the relation between goals, identities, and learning and argue for their utility as a model by which to understand the nature of learning in general and to better understand the way in which race, culture, and learning become intertwined for minority students in American schools. Drawing on sociocultural perspectives on learning and development, including Wenger (1998) and Saxe (1999), I describe findings from 2 studies of learning among African American students outside of school, in the cultural practices of dominoes and basketball. This research shows that indeed, as players come to learn these practices, they both shift in regard to the goals they seek to accomplish within the practice and change as they come to define themselves vis-à-vis the practice. The implications for understanding the relation between race, culture, and learning are discussed.