Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Department name when degree awarded

Mathematics Education and Leadership

Committee Chair(s)

Beth MacDonald


Beth MacDonald


Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham


Jessica F. Shumway


Kady Schneiter


Mario I. Suárez


The purpose of this study was to better understand the influence of educators’ attention to identity construction as tenth grade Emergent Bilinguals and native English-speaking students develop mathematical, social, and epistemological empowerment in a mathematics classroom. I incorporated a framework detailing critical consciousness as a mediator between students’ identity construction and their empowerment development. I employed a mixed methods transformative design, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze the influence of a values affirmation intervention on students’ critical consciousness and empowerment. To follow, I incorporate integrated analysis to highlight emerging and differing patterns in the empowerment data, the specific characteristics which may have contributed to these themes, and the need for multiple measures. Approximately 80 tenth-grade Emergent Bilingual and native English-speaking students were recruited from a western high school to participate in the study. Results suggest that students of different identities experience empowerment differently in the mathematics classroom. Findings provide a foundation suggesting that efforts to attend to students’ identities may positively contribute to their empowerment. In particular, values affirmation interventions correspond with improved mathematical empowerment outcomes, particularly for Emergent Bilingual students, but are associated with limited or negative influences on students’ social and epistemological empowerment outcomes. Findings also suggest that both reflection and traditional assessments are necessary to adequately capture students’ development in the mathematics classroom. I recommend further research to develop techniques which highlight students’ empowerment, specific to their language and gender identities.



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