Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

S. Megan Che

Committee Member

Cassie Quigley

Committee Member

William Bridges

Committee Member

Nicole Bannister

Committee Member

Diane Perpich

Abstract

With amendments made to the Title IX legislation in 2006, public schools in the United States were permitted to establish single-sex classes as an option for students to enroll voluntarily. Yet, our understanding of how single-sex mathematics classes affect female and male adolescent students in the United States is sparse. The purpose of this study is to contribute to this limited body of scholarship by gaining insights into the similarities and differences in how middle grade female and male students' narrate their mathematics identity within a single-sex and coeducational mathematics classrooms, as well as how class type may be shaping these adolescents' mathematics identity. Grounded in the theoretical work of Gilligan (1982), Bakhtin (1981, 1986) and Evans (2008), students' mathematics identities were understood as being composed of an interplay of 'voices,' voices vying for audibility (Evans, 2008), and moving in and out of one another while simultaneously shaping each participant's mathematics identity, similar to that viewed at the opening end of a kaleidoscope. Results support the notion that mathematics identity is a complex and individualistic construct. Yet, in considering participants' voices as distinct entities, it appears as though they are more similar than different. But participants in this study must make sense of their multiple voices, their mathematics identity, within the broader context of society and the classroom setting, external influences shaping how they perceive and narrate themselves as mathematics students. One such factor is the class type (single-sex or coeducational), which appears to be shaping some of the participants' mathematics identity in this study.

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