Smart Girls, Black Girls, Mean Girls, and Bullies: The Mediating Role of Young Girls' Social Network in Mathematical Communities of Practice
Maisie Gholson

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Illinois at Chicago

Primary Discipline

Mathematics Education
Children?s social networks in school are traditionally framed as external to students? learning of mathematics content. My preliminary analyses of student interviews and classroom interactions reveal that social clusters and networks developed by a group of girls in an all-African American third grade classroom were instrumental in shaping learning opportunities for the classroom community. Using an integrated qualitative approach, including social network analysis, narrative identity analysis, and microethnographic analysis, the proposed study seeks to (1) understand the nature and functions of children?s social networks inside the classroom, (2) understand the relationships between children?s social networks and classroom-based communities of practice and (3) understanding how identities and positions emerge in mathematics learning activities as students negotiate these social networks and classroom-based communities of practice. Preliminary analysis suggests that children?s positions and identities were constructed in complex ways that were intimately connected various sources of power and privilege, including physical, social, gendered, racial, and mathematical.
About Maisie Gholson

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