“It’s helping your child experience the world”: How parents can use everyday activities to engage their children's mathematical learning
5pm - 6:30pm, room 4.10, 35 Berkeley Square, BS8 1JA.
This seminar presents the content and preliminary findings of the "Everyday Maths workshops" for parents. The workshops were designed to (i) help parents reflect upon and “find” the mathematics in their everyday lives, and (ii) support parents in developing conversations with their children around everyday maths, with the view of empowering parents to help their children’s mathematics learning. Workshops were run once a month in four primary schools in Southwest England (October 2013-February 2014). Parents of children aged 7-9 were invited to participate. Schools were sampled based on their differences from each other (e.g. schools varied in socioeconomic measures, ethnicity, and performance at Key Stage 2).
Preliminary findings suggest that through the workshops some parents were afforded opportunities to develop a “mathematical lens” which led them to identify the mathematical reasoning underpinning decisions and actions in everyday life. This inspired creativity insofar as parents began to initiate conversations with their children about mathematics and (for the first time) construct activities which engaged children in mathematical thinking. However, whilst some found the workshops empowering, others either struggled to grasp the concept of everyday maths and/or struggled to converse with their children about mathematics. During the seminar we will discuss the ways in which parents' language developed and changed over the course of the workshops, and explore how the ways in which parents worked together enabled them to develop their ideas and thinking around mathematics. Implications about these outcomes will be discussed.