Title

The effect of parent or other adult involvement in mathematics homework on student achievement and attitude

Date of Award

5-2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Teaching and Leadership

Advisor(s)

Gerald M. Mager

Keywords

Parent involvement, Home learning, Adult involvement, Mathematics, Homework, Achievement

Subject Categories

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Elementary Education and Teaching | Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate how parent involvement in their child's mathematics homework affected the achievement and attitudes of children of differing pretest achievement levels. The sample population consisted of 66 fifth-grade students at a rural school near Syracuse, New York.

Using an experimental design, groups were formed in six fifth-grade classrooms by randomly assigning students to either the control or treatment group. A pretest/posttest model was used, and the test contained content specific material that would be taught during the study. Teachers were provided with mathematics homework assignments twice a week for the nine weeks of the study. The control group received homework that could be done alone, while the treatment group's assignments were to be done collaboratively with a parent. In addition, an attitude towards mathematics scale was administered at the beginning and end of the study to investigate any changes that might have occurred in student attitudes.

The data collected was analyzed using t tests, Pearson's correlation coefficient tests, partial correlation coefficients and ANOVA's. Initially, no significant difference in mathematics gains were found between the control and treatment groups or among the differing pretest achievement levels. However, for the students who returned more homework, a significant difference in achievement gains between the control and treatment groups was observed. The data suggested that parent involvement was correlated with increased amounts of homework being returned, indirectly influencing higher achievement gains. This was more pronounced for students in the low pretest achievement level in the treatment group, though not at statistically significant amounts.

On the attitude measures, no significant differences were reported between the control and treatment groups' attitudes towards mathematics or among the differing pretest achievement levels. However, a significant negative correlation existed between students' attitudes at the beginning and end of the study.

One surprising development of the study was that the teachers who had all initially exhibited interest in being a part of the study, displayed a wide range of actual involvement as the study proceeded.

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