Family-School Partnerships: Promoting Family Participation in K-3 Teacher Professional Development

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Heidi L. Fleharty University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Carolyn Pope-Edwards University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Sixty-three teachers in a K–3 mathematics specialist certificate program conducted family projects in order to improve their skills in partnering with families around mathematics. Past studies have indicated that family involvement in children's education has many positive influences on academic achievement; however, parents' discomfort with math, and teachers' discomfort with working with parents, may be obstacles. The purpose of the present study was to examine 2 years of teachers' mathematical family projects and describe the types of projects chosen, the risks and benefits of these projects, and the quality of the parent–child interaction. It was found that the teachers implemented a variety of projects that promoted parent participation in mathematics. Teachers were also able to utilize a cycle of inquiry to examine the progress of their project. The results showed that teachers were able to create a strong connection between the math classroom and the home environment of the child, as shown, for example, by findings related to the themes of home–school connections and mathematics curriculum of the home.

Contributor Notes

Heidi L. Fleharty, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 238 Burnett Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0308; heidi.fleharty@huskers.unl.edu

Carolyn Pope-Edwards, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 238 Burnett Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0308; cedwards@unlnotes.unl.edu

(Corresponding author is Fleharty heidi.fleharty@huskers.unl.edu)
(Corresponding author is Pope-Edwards cedwards@unlnotes.unl.edu)
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