An investigtion of adults' interactions centered on children learning mathematics: A case of two elementary schools

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Patricia Tinto


Adults' interactions, Children, Learning, Mathematics, Elementary schools

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Elementary Education and Teaching | Science and Mathematics Education


This study focuses on understanding how the practices in two different elementary schools have shaped adults' perspectives and working together in tending to issues of relevance to children learning mathematics. Data collected qualitatively, through the intensive interviewing of fourteen participants, revealed similarities and differences in the way these schools involved adults in the issues about children learning mathematics. In one school, the adult members of the school community embraced philosophies and instructional themes that gave prevalence to issues dealing with children learning mathematics and also participated together in organizing and conducting mathematics-specific school activities. In this school, the teachers were open with each other, both formally and informally, in discussing and tending to issues related to children learning mathematics. They also implemented the reformed-based mathematics curriculum materials adopted by the school district. In the second school, the adults were more involved in school activities that mirrored shared-ideological perspectives dealing with the creative and performance arts. The general understanding among the many participants in this school was that empowering children mathematically required not only the teaching of basic mathematics skills but also the use of a variety of school mathematics curricula programs, including the curriculum materials mandated by the school district. This study confirms findings from previous studies that document the vital role of school administrators in effecting mathematics curricula changes. Implications for both inservice and preservice teachers and for research are included


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