A Narrative Inquiry into Parent Engagement in the Mathematics Curriculum
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This thesis is a narrative inquiry into the role of parents in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Over several months, I worked alongside four parent participants to plan a math night for an elementary school. Through our research conversations and our experiences with the math night, I inquired into parents’ role both on and off the school landscape, their views about math curriculum, their relationships with teachers, and the knowledge they have to share about their children in relation to mathematics. As a participant in this research, I share my personal experiences, stories and happenings of my life as a student, teacher, and researcher both before and during this research as well as reflecting on future practices of parent engagement as a teacher. I used the taped conversations from our focus group conversations and my own field notes to apply this research to existing literature. I use Debbie Pushor’s definitions of involvement and engagement to help differentiate between the roles that parents play in the teaching and learning of mathematics. To more specifically define parent engagement, Joseph Schwab’s four curricular commonplaces – learner, teacher, subject matter and milieu are used as a framework to identify with what and with whom parents are engaged. As parents engage in varying degrees and with varying interests, teachers need tools to work with them. Too often, especially when parents are perceived as being “over engaged”, teachers respond negatively to parent engagement in mathematics. I explore ways that teachers can work with parents by listening and acknowledging to them that they have been heard.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteeChernoff, Egan; McVittie, Janet
Copyright DateAugust 2012
role of parents