FACTORS RELATED TO NINTH-GRADE AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE STUDENT MOTIVATION TOWARD MATH ACHIEVEMENT: A CASE STUDY
ROXANNE T. A. COMEGYS FACTORS RELATED TO NINTH-GRADE AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE STUDENT MOTIVATION TOWARD MATH ACHIEVEMENT: A CASE STUDY Under the direction of DR. MARGIE WIGGINS JONES, Ed. D This qualitative study investigated factors related to African American female motivation toward math achievement. The investigation included developing an understanding of their achievement goal orientations. This case study approach utilized semistructured interviews adapted from the Patterns of Adaptive Learning survey (Midgely, 2002). The data were analyzed using thematic coding and triangulation. Descriptive data included math scores, which were compared with data from individual interviews and a focus group. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) relationships, (2) classroom goal structures, (3) academic motivation, (4) interest, and (5) disparate themes. These themes provide language to describe the findings from this study. The four main findings were: (1) the relationships of African American females with adults and peers are important and part of their cultural identities, serving as mediators between motivational processes and their learning; (2) classroom environments that support the motivation of African American females toward math achievement should include learning targets reflective of mastery goal structures and high expectations; (3) the interest of African American females is a conductor between academic motivation and motivation toward math achievement; and (4) achievement goal theory is a suitable framework for researching different aspects of African American female motivation and learning. Further research should include the teacher perspective on student motivation toward math achievement. Research should also consider focusing on classroom goal structures that affect African American motivation. Subsequent research should include purposeful sampling to ensure there are participants who reflect a spectrum of math competency levels.