Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

William Muth, PhD

Second Advisor

Aimee Ellington, PhD

Third Advisor

Hillary Parkhouse, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Lynn Pelco, PhD


This qualitative study explored a mathematics workshop for parents and the impact on a parent’s mathematical content knowledge in rational numbers, perceptions of current instructional practices, and parental beliefs in supporting their children in learning mathematics. A 6-week parent workshop on rational numbers was offered in a rural middle school. Data sources included interviews and workshop audio transcriptions. This study concluded that a mathematics workshop supports parents in developing a conceptual understanding of rational numbers and rational number operations. Furthermore, parents recognized the importance of discourse, representation, and justification for building conceptual understanding in mathematics. Parents, who participated in the workshops, were more open to the use of standards based instructional practices for developing conceptual understanding. Parental engagement in mathematics should include discourse at home to help students justify and explain their thinking. Questions related to the teaching of non-standard procedures without building a conceptual understanding hindered many parents from completely accepting new instructional practices.


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