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<p>Research suggests that students who perceive ineffective math teaching, report more negative beliefs about math, which negatively impacts their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) success (Kearney & Garfield, 2019; Wang, 2013). However, little is known about whether the math class climate teachers create, predicts Latino middle school students’ math identity and interest. The present study examines these associations using data from a longitudinal study about STEM experiences. Baseline data of Latino middle school students (n=202) assessed perceptions of math teacher class climate, Math Interest, and Math Identity. Control variables included: sex (e.g., male or female), grade (6th, 7th, 8th), and math grade. Results from regression models showed that positive math class climate significantly predicated higher math interest and identity. Lower grades in math also predicted worse math interest and identity. While grades matter, these findings also highlight the importance teacher’s play in constructing students’ feelings about math.</p>
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