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Sociocultural Factors Influencing Students' Learning in Science and Mathematics: An Analysis of the Perspectives of African American Students


  • Author Note:Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Brenda R. Brand, 320 War Memorial Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0313.

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The voices of African American students reveal sociocultural factors that influence their achievement in science and mathematics classes. Using a sociocultural theoretical framework (Mercer & Covey, 1980), this ethnographic study interpreted the perspectives of five African American students as they discussed their learning experiences in science and mathematics classrooms. This framework acknowledges the vulnerability of the educational system to societal influences that inevitably assert cultural values and norms. The students' discussions provided insight into their beliefs about the varied ways in which sociocultural factors impact their learning in science and mathematics classrooms.