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Parental Involvement in Mathematics: A Focus on Parents’ Voices Marta Civil Emily Bernier Beatriz Quintos

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Presentation on theme: "Parental Involvement in Mathematics: A Focus on Parents’ Voices Marta Civil Emily Bernier Beatriz Quintos"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parental Involvement in Mathematics: A Focus on Parents’ Voices Marta Civil Emily Bernier Beatriz Quintos The University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Annual Meeting of AERA, April 2003 Chicago, IL

2 MAPPS 1  MPPS  M ath and P arent P artnerships in the S outhwest  Focus is on parental involvement in mathematics.  Sites:  Tucson,AZ  Chandler, AZ  San José, CA  Las Vegas, NM  Goal is to develop leadership teams (parents and teachers/administrators) that will conduct mathematics education outreach effort within the district.  Three Components:  Leadership Development Sessions  Mathematics Awareness Workshops  Math for Parents courses 1. Project MAPPS (Math and Parent Partnerships in the Southwest) is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant – ESI-99-01275

3  Our three components (LD; MAWS, MFP) allow us, among other things to, 1.Familiarize parents with current math ed. recommendations in a direct, hands-on way. 2.Engaging in dialogue with the parents and teachers to address potential conflicts as mathematics instruction changes. 3.Providing an arena in which researchers, teachers and parents come together.

4 Theoretical Framework  A socio-cultural perspective  Funds of Knowledge: sees families and their culture as a resource  Dialogic Learning A dialogue is egalitarian when it takes different contributions into consideration according to the validity of their reasoning, instead of according to the positions of power held by those who make the contributions. (Flecha, 2000, p.2)  Parental Involvement (issues of power and social class) [For the middle-class mothers ] Educational problems, when they did arise, were due to deficits in schooling, rather than located in either themselves or their child…. In contrast many of the working- class women had learnt from their own experience of schooling that educational difficulties were due to failings in the individual, rather than the system (Reay, 1998, p. 64)

5 Focus of this paper, In the context of MAPPS, Classroom Observations with mothers Parents as Learners Parents as Parents Parents as Teachers Teacher Interviews

6 Classroom Observations  Small group of mothers and 1 or 2 researchers  Observation at : Elementary, Middle school, 2 HS  Debriefing after the observation based on mothers’ interests. Some of our questions were, what was important to you in this class? Was the class what you expected? Why / why not?...  These mothers also observed (by themselves) their children’s classroom.  Data: Transcripts of our conversations, and field notes.

7 In the context of MAPPS, Classroom Observations with mothers Parents as Learners Parents as Parents Parents as Teachers Teacher Interviews

8 Parents as learners

9 Parents as Learners Mothers’ voices: Opportunity for all of us to learn about mathematics instruction Mothers particularly enjoyed when they learned something new about mathematics

10 Parents as Learners It impacted family dynamics, For example, some children now make sure their mothers do their homework. Mothers like learning from their children Opportunity to view children’s learning through an experiential lens

11 Parents as Learners Teachers’ voices: Parents as role models for their children Parents as providing a different point of view Parents to learn from, and not just with.

12 Parents as Teachers

13 Mothers’ voices: Explore one another’s views and understandings about mathematics education and our beliefs The “teaching of the basics” Perceptions on how mathematics should be taught Mothers’ valued conceptual understanding, use of manipulatives and an inquiry-based pedagogy.

14 Parents as teachers Teachers’ voices: Teachers shared a common ground Appreciated to have parents “walk in their shoes” Shared about the intricacies of teaching mathematics Questions What are the implications of having parents as teachers?

15 Parents as Parents

16 Mothers’ voices : Recurrent concepts: mutual respect, caring for one another, and family Lora: And you can tell that she cares for them very much, for how she talked about them; she said, “they are very nice children, I really love them.” You can tell that she is used to them and they are used to her. Because I noticed that they even joke with her, they make fun of her, and it doesn’t bother her, she also laughs along with them. The concept of, “educación” and “education”

17 It is important to see that a teacher really likes to teach, that he feels it. I liked it all, especially that he has the pictures of his students and his former students. That's where you notice that he does his work from his heart and that he likes it a lot, he cares about his students, even about the babies of his students, he is a very good teacher, very attentive, enjoyable and especially that he helps these young people a lot, he doesn't want anyone to be less, he wants everybody to be someone [to make something out him/herself. I liked it a lot because to be honest, I had never seen a teacher that was so focused on his students. It was like his family, that's how he sees them, like his family, how we say, cheering them up.

18 Parents as Parents Teacher’s views: Parental involvement, Parents as a deficit or resource ???

19 In this district, parental involvement is at a very minimal if any, level. That's one of the reasons I joined. I feel that the student achievement in our district, which is abysmal, probably could be improved if we could get parents involved in their mathematics education (Tucson, high school, 18 years teaching experience) I've never had the chance to work with parents like this before. It’s always been kind of the parent on the other end of the phone line and the parent at the other end of the table, you know just somebody on the other side, not necessarily somebody who you really felt like you worked with. (Chandler, 8th grade, 7 years teaching experience) (In MAPSS we have) 4 or 5 people getting together to try and teach two different areas or activities and I think that’s a really good thing. Also because it teaches teamwork. There are teachers and parents, and grandparents all involved in the process, so you get a bunch of different views and ideas from it. (Las Vegas, 5th grade, 7 years teaching experience )

20 MOTHERS’ VOICES  The good things about MAPPS is that it [opens] our awareness in math, you know the workshops, it just opens up the doors that we thought that were closed specially for me….I think that it is important that I learned that our kids aren’t really being taught what they are supposed to be taught and that's one big thing and that parents have a lot of power that we don't know that we have it… In Closing: What does it mean to be a leader ?

21 TEACHERS’ VOICES I think a lot of parents view teachers as role models and leaders for their children. In MAPPS it is totally different because we’re all equal. We all come in with the same fears and the same confidence, whatever. We’re all kind of evened out. [Teacher, Las Vegas]


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