Algebra as a Civil Right: Increasing Achievement Through Participatory Action Research and Appreciative Inquiry
Robert Moses states, “Mathematics Education is a civil rights issue” (2001, p. 5). Moses argues that children who are not quantitatively literate may be doomed to second-class economic status in our increasingly technological society. Unequal numbers of poor, African-American, and Latino students drop out of mathematics and perform below standard on tests of mathematical competency, and are thus denied both essential skills and a particularly important pathway to economic and other opportunities. This chapter describes the role of participatory action research in developing the understandings and practices of Algebra teachers determined to improve the achievement of African-American male students. An appreciative inquiry approach served as the foundation for the collaborative process. The principal modeled qualities of relational connection as she engaged teachers and students as co-researchers in the inquiry.