This case study reports on the small group interactions and achievements of Malik, an African American sixth grader, who attended a Maryland elementary school in 1997. Student achievement was measured by the Maryland Functional Mathematics Test (MFMT-I), which was given on a pre/post basis. Students' scores on the MFMT-I were analyzed using the ANOVA. The analysis revealed a significant difference (F = 3-330, p < .05) between the scores of Caucasian (M = 342.12) and African American students (M = 323-56). However, Malik's MFMT-I score rose from 293 to 353. A passing score is 340. This study examines Malik's interactions to ascertain what factors influenced his achievement. The findings are that Malik had a positive attitude about mathematics and a strong command of mathematical and scientific language. Recommendations are that teachers become cultural brokers to help all children learn the "language" of mathematics and encourage all students to become self-advocates to overcome negative social dynamics in small groups.


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