Urban Latina/o Undergraduate Students’ Negotiations of Identities and Participation in an Emerging Scholars Calculus I Workshop

Sarah Oppland-Cordell


In this article, the author presents a qualitative multiple case study that explored how two urban Latina/o undergraduate students’ emerging mathematical and racial identity constructions influenced their participation in a culturally diverse, Emerging Scholars Program, Calculus I workshop at a predominately White urban university. Drawing on critical race theory and Latina/o critical theory, cross-case analysis illustrates that participants’ emerging mathematical and racial identities—co-constructed with their other salient identities—contributed to positively shifting their participation by: (a) changing their perceptions of their and peers’ mathematics abilities, (b) allowing them to challenge racialized mathematical experiences, and (c) strengthening their comfort levels in the workshop environment. The Latina/o participants’ counter-stories support that the sociopolitical nature of identity development and participation in mathematical learning contexts should be embraced because it provides additional knowledge regarding how and why Latina/o students attain mathematical success.


collaborative learning, identity, Latina/o students, mathematics education, race

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Illuminating Urban Excellence