Date of Award
Doctor of Education in Middle Grades Education - Mathematics (Ed.D)
Dr. Belinda P. Edwards - Chair
Dr. Brian R. Lawler - Committee Member
Dr. Raynice Jean-Sigur - Committee Member
Students often possess unique extensive bodies of knowledge that they have acquired through social, historical, and cultural backgrounds and experiences from their homes that are valuable in the teaching and learning of mathematics. This study, “Teachers Re-Imagining Parental Involvement: Using Parents’ Funds of Knowledge in Math Lesson Designs” used a qualitative single-case research design, bounded contextually within a church congregation located in a suburban community in the southwestern United States, included six parents of middle grade students and two middle grade mathematics teachers. The study utilized questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis to gather data to explore how Black and Latinx families’ funds of knowledge can be used to create lessons that connect students’ home experiences to mathematics learning.
The findings indicate that families possess extensive funds of knowledge, including but not limited to carpentry, event hall decoration, buying and selling. The parents’ funds of knowledge, which came from their historical, cultural, and social experiences, could be used to create lessons that motivate students to engage in mathematics learning activities, connect home and community life to school, and enable students to see mathematics through the lens of practical applications in problem solving.
While teachers were able to use funds of knowledge to create lessons, they expressed challenges in doing so. These findings indicate a need for professional development priorities at both school and district levels to support teachers’ use of parents’ funds of knowledge and other culturally responsive pedagogy practices that build on students’ backgrounds in ways that enhance mathematics teaching and learning.