Skip to main content

Welcome, you are visiting DEBT-M

DEBT-M Library

Beyond Missionaries or Cannibals: Who should teach mathematics to African American Children?


Guided by a general critique that asks, Highly qualified for whom?, I problematize recent characterizations of highly qualified mathe- matics teachers by focusing on the question, Who should teach mathematics to African American children? I discuss how responses to this question in mainstream mathematics edu- cation research and policy contexts have drawn on discursive frames that support color- blind racism, that focus only on achievement outcomes, and that propose "missionaries" and "cannibals" as the kinds of teachers most appropriate for African American children. I propose a refocusing of mathematics educa- tion research and policy that gives meaningful attention to the ways that African American children experience mathematics in schools and life as African American