Social Design to Optimize Mathematics Learning for Linguistic Minority Learners
A meaningful collaboration between schools and homes can enhance students' opportunities to learn mathematics. The goal of this study is to understand how parents experience their involvement in children's mathematics learning and how they describe their relationships with schools and teachers. This study utilizes the data collected from semi-structured interviews with Japanese immigrant families in Canada. Findings identified active parental involvement in children's mathematics learning among this population. At the same time, findings also suggested the invisibility of school mathematics learning for those parents. This study proposes creating boundary objects that can meaningfully bridge homes and schools.
Family language practice can be significantly influenced by social, historical, and political contexts, especially in immigrant households where a society's minority languages are used. Set in a large city in Japan, this study examines how institutional power can affect Filipino mothers' language use at home. Drawing from the cultural historical activity theory, this study examines both individual and collective discourses. After conducting individual interviews, participants and I collectively engaged in workshops, the topics of which included child-parent communications at home, experiences of Japanese schools, and multilingual development. Interactions during the workshops revealed the characteristics of the collective discourse to mitigate the repercussion from the dominant ideology and indicated participants' heightened awareness toward a supportive parental community. The findings also highlight the paradoxical role of English for Filipino women in Japanese society. English served as a resource to empower these women, but its economic and political power also hindered them from using their first languages at home. This study highlights the institutional power affecting Filipino mothers' language use and suggests the significance of cultivating a supportive parental community.
This study examined immigrant parents’ involvement in early years mathematics learning, focusing on learning of multiplication in in- and out-of-school settings. Ethnographic interviews and workshops were conducted in an urban city in Japan, to examine out-of-school practices of immigrant families. Drawing from sociocultural theory of learning and the concept of appropriation (Wertsch, 1998), the role of power and identity was examined in relation to children’s appropriation of an informal multiplication method that was taught by their parents. An intergenerational analysis, between immigrant parents and their children, revealed heterogeneous perspectives towards appropriation. Immigrant parents in this study framed their involvement in their children’s early years mathematics learning in relation to their positional identities and the pressures to conform to the mainstream practices of their host country. During their early years of schooling, students in this study were already aware of academic tracking in the school and were aware of what was believed to be legitimate in school mathematics learning. The significance of diversifying mathematics curriculum and pedagogy was discussed to affirm the knowledge and identities of immigrant students and families.