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Why Aren't More Minorities Taking Advanced Math?


"Black and Latino students are still underepresented in upper-level math classes in the United States, a fact which has serious implications for their academic achievement and futures. Walker provides six suggestions for how educators can encourage more black and Latino students to successfully take higher level math courses: (1) Expand our thinking about who can do mathematics; too often educators assume that minority students don't have the ability or interest to do higher level math. (2) Build on underrepresented students' existing academic communities. Walker's research reveals that minority students doing well in math often draw on networks of family and peers that support this achievement. (3) Learn from institutions that promote math excellence, such as historically black colleges and universities that graduate many minorities with math-related degrees. (4) Expand the options in school math courses. (5) Expand enrichment opportunities by providing more out-of-classroom mathematics experiences. (6) Make minority students less isolated in advanced mathematics courses."