Parents’ experiences of mathematics learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic: a typology of parental engagement in mathematics education

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Abstract

The COVID pandemic disrupted the schooling of students worldwide resulting in many having had a period of at-home learning. Many parents found themselves assuming responsibility for supporting their children’s at-home learning. Parents often find it difficult to support their children’s mathematics learning compared with other curriculum areas. There has been limited research exploring parental engagement in mathematics education generally, and little into parental engagement in mathematics education during the COVID pandemic. This paper examines how parents supported their child’s mathematics education during the school closures and identifies the factors that impacted this engagement. The Ecologies of Parental Engagement (EPE) model was used to help describe the engagement of different parents in mathematics education during the school closures and to examine the way the home space and available capital shaped parental engagement. Eight parents were selected from a larger Australian study that explored the impact of the pandemic-induced period of at-home schooling on primary school mathematics and science. One-on-one narrative interviews were conducted online with participants. Analysis identified three categories of parental engagement: monitors, facilitators, and enhancers. Parents in each category responded to their role in at-home learning differently, and accessed and activated different capital to support their child’s at-home learning in mathematics during the pandemic. Results highlight the value of emotional capital, as well as knowledge of mathematics and mathematics education, with implications for schools hoping to engage parents in mathematics learning. The study offers a typology to be explored in future research concerning parental engagement in mathematics education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2023

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