This study analyzes a cultural model for greatness at the Math Corps, an enrichment mathematics program of primarily African American students from public schools in Detroit, Michigan. Corpus analysis of staff addresses reveals eight interrelated conceptual relationships about greatness, conceptualized as a resource inside individuals motivating success. Compared to contemporary and historical American English corpora, this cultural model differs systematically from general understandings of greatness. Aspects of these conceptual relationships are then elaborated through gestural and graphic modalities. This cultural model produces a framework for decision and action, motivating student success in a challenging educational environment. This study integrates ethnography, corpus linguistics, and discourse analysis in understanding conceptual metaphor and cultural models, both in educational settings and other discourse communities. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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