GSE Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



This article presents initial findings from a study that examined how African American mothers from a low-income neighborhood conceptualized their roles in their children’s mathematics learning. Based on interviews and observations focusing on ten mothers’ involvement in their children’s education, we offer a framework that expands typical characterizations of parent involvement. This framework privileges practices that are both traditionally visible and invisible to the school and highlights how parents act as “intellectual resources” in their children’s education (Civil, Guevara, & Allexsaht-Snider, 2002). Our findings offer evidence that traditional understandings of parent involvement may overlook ways that low-income parents deliberately involve themselves in their children’s education. Our findings also identify challenges that these parents face in relation to their children’s mathematics education. Some of these challenges were due in part to stereotypes held by practitioners about the families they serve in low-income urban schools.


Reprinted from School Community Journal, Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2005, pages 51-73.


parent involvement, parental beliefs, mathematics reform, elementary school mathematics, home-school relationships, race/ethnicity/SES



Date Posted: 19 June 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.