CAREER: Black and Latinx Parents Leading ChANge & Advancing Racial Justice in Elementary Mathematics aims to increase Black and Latinx parents’ engagement in solidarity with community organizations and teachers to advance racial justice in PreK-5 mathematics education. 

PI: Frances K. Harper
July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2026

Decades of reform efforts in mathematics education continue to fail Black and Latinx children, in part, because parents are excluded from decisions about school mathematics. Nonetheless, Black and Latinx families often persist in supporting their individual children, but a shift toward collective organizing among parents as change agents in school mathematics is necessary for meeting the needs of every student. This project explores possibilities for localized change lead by parents. By making explicit how to foster and increase Black and Latinx parents’ engagement in solidarity with community organizations and teachers, this project could provide a model for other communities and schools seeking to advance racial justice in mathematics education. 

Through critical community-engaged scholarship and in collaboration with ten Black and Latinx families, ten teachers, and two community organizations, the research team will co-design and co-study two educational programs aimed at advancing racial justice in elementary mathematics. The first program seeks to build parents’ capacity to catalyze change across classrooms and schools within their local communities; and the second program will provide teacher professional development that supports elementary teachers of mathematics to learn with and from Black and Latinx families. A mixed methods research design that utilizes narrative inquiry and social network analysis will facilitate refinement of the educational program models by addressing two research objectives: (1) to understand the lived experiences of Black and Latinx parents as they build capacity to lead change and (2) to study the development, nature, and impact of parent-teacher-community partnerships that promote a shared vision for racial justice in mathematics. Findings could extend the field’s understanding of community-initiated and community-led change in school mathematics and produce a model that helps ensure increased access and opportunity for Black and Latinx students in mathematics education. 

This work is being supported with funding from the National Science Foundation DRK-12 Program (Award #2046856)

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.