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Parent-teacher collaboration in helping students with learning difficulties in mathematics

Alja Gašparut (2019) Parent-teacher collaboration in helping students with learning difficulties in mathematics. MSc thesis.

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    The parent-teacher partnership is a key factor in development and progress of students with learning difficulties in mathematics. In spite of the legal basis for the partnership, its quality and effectiveness in facilitating students’ development and learning in accordance with their competence is still to be established. (Cankar, 2008). The theoretical part of the thesis defines the notion of learning difficulties and outlines their underlying causes. In addition, the section provides an extensive description of learning difficulties in mathematics, their underlying causes and the diagnostic criteria for detecting students with learning deficit in mathematics. Special attention is paid to the principles of parent-teacher collaboration, the forms the collaboration may take as well as the factors and challenges for a successful parent-teacher partnership. The theoretical part of the thesis concludes with an outline of teacher competencies needed for a successful partnership with the parents. The empirical part of the thesis examines the current parent-teacher collaboration in helping students with learning difficulties in mathematics. This section inquires into the forms of parent-provided help for students with learning difficulties in mathematics and the factors which parents and teachers find instrumental for facilitating the students’ progress. Additionally, the section aims to research the problems encountered by both parents and teachers in their collaboration as well as their mutual expectations in providing learning assistance. The study includes 30 class teachers working with students with learning difficulties in mathematics and 34 parents whose children experience learning difficulties in mathematics. Both groups were given a questionnaire related to learning difficulties in mathematics, the diagnosis process, the forms of parent- and teacher-provided assistance, the parent-teacher collaboration, its challenges and how they may affect the students’ progress. The parents’ questionnaire is concluded with an open-ended question related to the expectations parents have from the teachers. The teachers’ questionnaire is concluded with an open-ended question related to the teachers’ expectations from the parents. The results of the study show that the most common forms of parent-provided assistance are the additional explanation of the task, the explanation of the instructions of the task and the help with instruction reading. Additionally, the study shows that both parents and teachers perceive their collaboration as the most important factor in facilitating learning assistance and student progress. As for the challenges teachers face in their work, the study shows the parents’ unwillingness to collaborate as the most common challenge experienced by teachers. Parents, on the other hand, highlight problems in communication with the teacher as well as the feelings of unwantedness in the mutual relation as the most common challenges for their collaboration. The teachers’ responses show that their expectations from the parents are that enough time be dedicated to the child as well as the constant mutual collaboration and tracing of the student’s progress. The parents’ responses, on the other hand, show that the parents expect teachers to provide instructional support for them and their children. Additionally, the parents expect partnership, patience and successful communication with the teacher. The results of the study contribute to the fields of didactics of mathematics and inclusive pedagogy. The findings may serve as guidelines for teachers and parents to help them change and improve their collaboration.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: primary school, mathematics, students with learning difficulties, parent-teacher collaboration, learning assistance
    Number of Pages: 99
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Tatjana HodnikMentor
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12496969
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5814
    Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2019 09:26
    Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 09:26
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5814

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