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Inquiry Proposal

swetha's picture

Throughout this course, we have talked a lot about the ways in which multiculuralism plays a role in the classroom through systemic issues like racism, classism, ablism, etc. However, I think it would be useful to look specifically at how these ideas and discussions can be introduced into math classrooms. There has been a lot of research done on the idea of "math anxiety," and especially how it comes up frequently in low-income students, female students, and Black and Latinx students. This topic has been on my mind since the Community Day of Learning, where I attended a session on STEM and students of color, and how many students from "traditionally disadvantaged" backgrounds are coming to college mathematically unprepared to take introductory classes, and then afraid to ask for help in these classes. An approach I might take to finding out more about this idea of "math anxiety" is to hear the "math journeys" of Bryn Mawr students who have both chosen to go into STEM fields and chosen to stay as far away from them as possible, and how Bryn Mawr has played a role in shifting or maintaining their journey. In hearing about someone's "math journey," it would be interesting to hear about teachers, projects, experiences, etc. that have shaped it.  I would like to hopefully create either an audio or visual representation of these journeys using the voices of these students.


jccohen's picture


I heard about that Community Learning Day session - sounded quite provocative, and I'm glad for you to pursue this topic.  Your notion of doing this through interviews with BMC students sounds illuminating.  I'd recommend that you also do some library/internet research to orient yourself to the issues and frame the kinds of questions you want to ask.  Also, it will be important to think about how you select your sample of folks to be interviewed.  Lastly, I think Victor Donnay would be a great resource for thinking about and implementing this investigation!