Teacher Education

Document Type


Publication Date






Making mathematics connections between home and school can have a positive impact on students’ mathematics learning. This is particularly important for students whose experiences and perspectives are underrepresented in school curricula. Although there is evidence for how crucial it is to make connections between mathematics instruction and children’s lived experiences, doing so is often a challenging task for teachers.


This study examines what teachers in two different settings—a dual language school and a Structured English Immersion school—learned from engaging in a mathematics collaboration with Latina mothers. We share the teachers’ perceptions of their students’ and families’ mathematics’ strengths and how they envisioned their future mathematics teaching.

Research Design:

This qualitative interpretive study explored how 15 teachers from two states made sense of their experiences working together in a two-year mathematics collaboration with mothers from their school community. We collected multiple teacher reflections and artifacts, and administered a small group interview with teachers and parents and an individual teacher interview. We used an iterative analysis by demarcating the words that pertained to the different data sources, as we looked for patterns of the teachers’ key ideas. We summarized the key ideas across the data sources that resulted in six major themes.


The key findings in this study reveal that the teachers learned from the mothers more about their students’ lives outside of school, the mothers’ mathematics background, and ways to create multiple channels of communication with the mothers. The teachers also learned about the significant contributions that the mothers make to their children’s mathematics education and the importance of honoring the mothers’ ways of doing mathematics in their mathematics teaching. The teachers shared how the collaboration with the mothers helped to serve as a guide to leverage their students’ learning of mathematics in Spanish and English.


This study suggests that mathematics collaborations between teachers and parents can be highly beneficial to student learning. It showcases the importance of providing teachers with opportunities to learn about the rich mathematics knowledge that parents from diverse backgrounds possess. This study also demonstrates that creating authentic relationships that enhance mutual understandings between teachers and parents can be key in supporting Latinx students’ mathematics learning. We recommend that these types of collaborations between teachers and parents be considered part of the preparation of preservice teachers as well as the professional learning of in-service teachers.


Copyright © 2022 SAGE.


Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.