Parents’ Influence on Children Mathematical Activity During Lockdown

Andrea Maffia 1 *
More Detail
1 Department of Mathematics, University of Bologna, Bologna, ITALY
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp. 547-554.
Published: 26 August 2022
OPEN ACCESS   456 Views   272 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)


Parents can play a key role in their children's homework activities; this has been particularly true during the home-schooling caused by the pandemic. However, how parents affect students’ mathematical activity is scarcely researched, in particular in the case of primary school students. Within the framework of activity theory, in this contribution two case studies are compared and contrasted to investigate how parents can influence the different aspects of their child’s mathematical activity at home. Findings show that parents may play a role in many homework activities, including interpretation of the tasks. In particular, parents can influence the division of labor and the rules, in particular the normative aspects about the solution to be given that is the outcome of the homework activity.


Maffia, A. (2022). Parents’ Influence on Children Mathematical Activity During Lockdown. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(4), 547-554.


  • Akkerman, S. F., & Bakker, A. (2011). Boundary crossing and boundary objects. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 132-169.
  • Askew, M. (2004). Mediation and interpretation: Exploring the interpersonal and the intrapersonal in primary mathematics lessons. In M. J. Høines, & A. B. Fuglestad (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 71-78). PME.
  • Bakker, A., & Wagner, D. (2020). Pandemic: Lessons for today and tomorrow? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 104(1), 1-4.
  • Bronkhorst, L. H., & Akkerman, S. F. (2016). At the boundary of school: Continuity and discontinuity in learning across contexts. Educational Research Review, 19, 18-35.
  • Engeström, Y. (2001). Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity-theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of Education and Work, 14, 133-156.
  • Fan, H., Xu, J., Cai, Z., He, J., & Fan, X. (2017). Homework and students’ achievement in math and science: A 30-year meta-analysis, 1986-2015. Educational Research Review, 20, 35-54.
  • Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Battiato, A. C., Walker, J. M., Reed, R. P., DeJong, J. M., & Jones, K. P. (2001). Parental involvement in homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 195-209.
  • Hughes, M. (2001). Linking home and school mathematics. In M. van den Heuvel-Panhuizen (Ed.), Proceedings of the 25th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 5-10). PME.
  • Hughes, M., & Greenhough, P. (2008). We do it a different way at my school. In A. Watson, & P. Winbourne (Eds.), New directions for situated cognition in mathematics education (pp. 129-151). Springer.
  • Jackson, K. (2011). Approaching participation in school-based mathematics as a cross-setting phenomenon. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(1), 111-150.
  • Jonassen, D. H., Tessmer, M., & Hannum, W. H. (1998). Activity theory. In D. H. Jonassen, M. Tessmer, & W. H. Hannum (Eds.), Task analysis methods for instructional design (pp. 1-14). Routledge.
  • Kuutti, K. (1996). Activity theory as a potential framework for human-computer interaction research. In B. A. Nardi (Ed.), Context and consciousness: Activity theory and human-computer interaction (pp. 17-44). The MIT Press.
  • Radford, L., & Sabena, C. (2015). The question of method in a Vygotskian semiotic approach. In A. Bikner-Ahsbahs, C. Knipping, & N. Presmeg (Eds.), Approaches to qualitative research in mathematics education (pp. 157-182). Springer.
  • Roth, W. M. (2012). Cultural-historical activity theory: Vygotsky’s forgotten and suppressed legacy and its implication for mathematics education. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 24(1), 87-104.
  • Santana, M., Nussbaum, M., Claro, S., Piza, S., Imbarack, P., & Loeb, S. (2021). Let’s spend time together: Text messaging parents to help math-anxious students. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 52(2), 189-212.
  • Scheff, T. (1990). Microsociology, discourse, emotions and social structure. The University of Chicago Press.
  • Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional ecology, “translations” and boundary objects: Amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Social Studies of Science, 19, 387-420.
  • Winter, J., Salway, L., Ching Yee, W., & Hughes, M. (2004). Linking home and school mathematics: The home school knowledge exchange project. Research in Mathematics Education, 6(1), 59-75.
  • Yackel, E., & Cobb, P. (1996). Sociomathematical norms, argumentation, and autonomy in mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 27(4), 458-477.
  • Yamagata-Lynch, L. C. (2010). Activity systems analysis methods: Understanding complex learning environments. Springer.
  • Zhao, Y. (2020). COVID-19 as a catalyst for educational change. Prospects, 49(1), 29-33.