There are different ways in which home environment can contribute to student engagement at school, their levels of drive and motivation and their beliefs about their abilities as mathematics learners.
Parents’ have influence as active participants in their child’s education, both at home and at school, as role models, as their child’s best champions and in the expectations they hold for their child’s future. There is also an association between the home environment and mathematics performance.
The fact that young children have such different levels of mathematics skills indicates that, in addition to differences in any innate abilities, parents and environmental factors play a role in shaping children’s mathematical knowledge and dispositions.
Key findings include:
- Students’ intrinsic motivation to learn mathematics is higher among students whose parents discuss with them how mathematics can be applied to everyday life.
- Children of parents who agree or strongly agree that it is important to have good mathematics knowledge and skills in order to get any good job in today’s world, reported higher levels of engagement at school, greater drive and motivation, and more positive self-beliefs.
- In general, socio-economically disadvantaged students are less likely to have parents who reported discussing school or mathematics.