Summer Researcher with Dr. Delayne Johnson
Delaware State University
I am Rodney Davis, and I am a senior at Delaware State University studying mathematics education. My future career goals are to become a mathematics educator and pursue a master’s degree in educational leadership to provide a change in young children’s lives. I would like to become an assistant principal and principal. My long-term goal as a future black mathematics educator is to open my own school.
Rodney’s Research Summary:
Diversity in United States schools continues to increase, however, diversity in STEM, including in mathematics is not increasing at the same rate. It is vitally important to include diversity in STEM, specifically mathematics and particularly black males in mathematics. Mathematics is a subject where a multitude of ways to look at a problem can led to better solutions. Acquiring more black males in mathematics allows for diverse perspectives to help the younger generations understand mathematics. Just having a black male math teacher can change how diverse students perceive the subject.
One way to increase diversity in STEM fields is through the US education system. However, the teacher workforce in the United States education system continues to lack diversity. For example, only 2 percent of US teachers are black males. A goal of many US school districts is to increase teacher diversity, including increasing the number of black male teachers, particularly in STEM fields like mathematics. Increasing this percentage of black male teachers will contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM for the next generation of students by providing role models from students’ communities. This type of representation may help encourage diverse students to enter STEM fields.
Education researchers have identified the benefits of having a black male math educator in the classroom, particularly for students of color (Milner, H. R.) for social change a strong commitment to the Black community.
The purpose of this research is to study Black male mathematics teachers and their importance in relation to STEM. A primary goal is to identify what different approaches can be implemented to increase the number of black male mathematics teachers. To explore this topic, a review of research articles was completed that focused on the effects black male mathematics have on education and on reasons black males do or do not become math teachers.
To gain more information about increasing the number of black male math teachers, a set of interview questions was developed. Black male math teachers, particularly those who teacher secondary mathematics were identified and contacted to participate in the research study. Interviews of black male math teachers are designed to collect information that provides insights to the experiences that lead to their decisions to become math teachers, and opportunities they believe will encourage other black males to become math teachers. Data is still being connected.
Milner, H. R. (2016). A black male teacher’s culturally responsive practices. Journal of Negro Education, 85(4), 417–432.
Walker, L. J., Goings, R. B., & Wilkerson, R. D. (2019). The role school administrators play in creating healthy ecosystems for black male preservice teachers. Educational Foundations, 32(1-4), 114–141.