Parental involvement in children's mathematics learning : a case of a rural community, Ghana

by Kwesi Yaro

Institution: University of British Columbia
Department: Mathematics Education
Degree: MA- MA
Year: 2015
Record ID: 2059768
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/52871


Although emergent literature and anecdotal experience indicate the importance of parental involvement in their children’s mathematics learning, there is still a void in literature with regard to involvement of parents with low formal education in their children’s mathematics learning in culturally diverse contexts. In an attempt to address this void, a study that employed socio cultural learning and social constructivist theories investigated how parents with low formal education are involved in their children’s mathematics learning in a rural Community, Ghana. Data was collected from six parents with low formal education, their 8-9 year old children as well as the children’s class teachers through semi-structured individual face to face interviews and home visit observations. Analysis of the data corpus revealed that 1) parents’ mentorship and engagement in local business transactions, were used as learning and evaluation contexts for a child’s mathematics competence; 2) parents perceived giving and receiving correct change as a key indicator of one’s moral standing and mediated children’s mathematics accordingly; 3) parents, teachers and children consider mathematics as a hallmark of future success; 4) parents’ belief that increasing time spent on academic activities improved children’s success, within the examination culture of the context;5) teachers see low formal education as a handicap of parental involvement in children’s mathematics learning; 6) children typically corroborate their parents’ perceived ways of supporting their mathematics learning. These findings are significant and offer insight into how parents with low formal education from a different cultural context are involved in their older children’s mathematics learning. The study adds to the literature on the topic of parental involvement from a non-western context.