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Career Trajectories of Mathematics Professors of African Heritage

Thomas, Trevor Aubrey

This research investigated the career trajectories of mathematics professors of African heritage. The principal objective was to determine the factors that promoted self-efficacy, which made them complete a PhD in mathematics or an EdD in mathematics education regardless of the obstacles they encountered. I investigated 10 professors, males and females, of African heritage at the City University of the Northeast by using open-ended biographical questionnaires and individual interviews Several themes emerged from the data collected. The major themes that impacted the career trajectories of African American male and female mathematics professors were (a) family influence; (b) teacher influence; (c) peer influence; (d) problem solving approach; (e) perceptions of mathematics; (f) prior experience; (g) and individual perseverance (determination) and commitment (obligation). The findings of this research suggested that there are opportunities for young men and women of African heritage to develop into successful mathematicians (the term successful mathematicians is used to denote those men and women of African heritage who have completed their terminal degree, in mathematics or mathematics related subjects) provided that parents, teachers, and peers act their part.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, J. Philip
Walker, Erica
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
January 24, 2020