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Black Learners' Perseverance With Mathematics: A Qualitative Metasynthesis


"Perseverance is often viewed as behavior exhibited in relation to a specific task, but perseverance can also be viewed more broadly as a behavior or set of behaviors spanning a longer period of time. This is the approach that Berry and Thunder (2014) take in their paper, which synthesizes qualitative research to explore how Black learners identity formation over time may influence their perseverance in mathematics throughout the course of their K-12 educations. The authors describe the ways in which Black learners racialized forms of experience contribute to identity formation and their sense of agency in relation to mathematics, highlighting first-hand accounts from high-achieving Black students that illustrate how their identities led to a high sense of agency that enabled them to persevere with and succeed in mathematics over time. Berry and Thunders study enriches our understanding of perseverance by relating the unique experiences of a particular subgroup of learners, as well as by demonstrating how perseverance can be seen not only as a task-specific concept, but also as a habit that persists over a longer period of time."