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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Life through a mathematical lens : building parental awareness of home numeracy practices through photography Poirier, Natalie


The home is a rich site for mathematics exploration, communication and discovery and parents play an invaluable role as their children’s first math teachers. However, literature suggests that parents do not often realize the mathematics in which their children engage at home (Beningno & Ellis, 2008; Tudge & Doucet, 2004; Warren & Young, 2002; Winter, Salway, Lee, & Huges, 2004). Pound (1999) highlights that unless children’s everyday activities are viewed with a mathematical lens the mathematics may go unnoticed. This study, grounded in the theoretical framework of numeracy as a social practice, examines the ways in which parental awareness of home numeracy experiences may be enhanced through photography and the photo interview. These methods have been frequently used in examining literacy practices and it seems reasonable that photographs may provide a language of inquiry for numeracy practices. Four parent dyads of prekindergarten to kindergarten aged children participated in two photo assignments where they were invited to capture events where their children were engaged in mathematics. Each assignment was followed up by a photo interview where parents were invited to discuss the mathematics being portrayed in photographs. An exit interview was conducted to allow parents to share what they learned from the experience. All parents pointed to an increased awareness of mathematics in the home. These results suggest that strategies such as used here foreground math for the parents and heighten their sensitivity to it.

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