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Teachers and Parents Role in Students’ Mathematics Performance


This research offers a complete reflection of the student’s achievement in relation to the role played by parents and teachers through their involvement in mathematics. Both parents and teachers pledge their loyalty to the concept of practice makes perfect. They both hold convergent ideas on the issue of memorization as applicable n mathematics. They also subscribe to the school of thought that to achieve these, they need to play a key role in enforcing some key aspects to the students. However, the key findings tend to contradict this beliefs held by the two parties. These findings echo some of the previously conducted research. The research puts focus in establishing relation between the student’s mathematical achievement and parent’s involvement as well as the student’s achievement in relation to teacher’s involvement. It puts focus on trying to establish the extent to which parents or teachers involvement impacts on student’s achievement. This section puts lots of focus in analyzing and adequately discussing the findings with the ultimate aim of drawing up conclusions in support of the recommendations to be drawn later on. This is to be done by analyzing the effect of each party separately before drawing up interrelating conclusions. The research applied the use of gamma, tau b and Somers’d as a measure of relation between the variables under consideration of which in this case are the teachers and parent’s involvement in student’s achievement n mathematics and consequently the results that arise out of it.

Discussion of Results pertaining to relation between students mathematics achievement in relation to parents involvement

From the results, no significant correlation exists between parental involvement and student’s achievement in mathematics. Rather the results establish a fact that there is existence of various factors which limit the relation of student’s performance and parental involvement. Various standard measures of association have been used in this case in order to draw up conclusions. These are what are usually referred to as the measures of ordinal association (Rothman, S., & McMillan, J. 2003). Of consideration is whether a change in parental involvement would result into a similar change in the student’s level of performance in mathematics. The standards of measure used include; Gamma, Kendall’s tau-b, and Somers’d (Zacharos, K., Koliopoulos, D., Dokimaki, M., & Kassoumi, H. 2007). While there is existence of other measurement criterion, this research has chosen to apply the three mentioned in analyzing its data.

Tau-b assists in computation of standard error and consequently analyzes its significance. It deals with concordant and discordant pairs. For a relation to be considered a perfect agreement, it follows that the coefficient bears a ranking value equivalent to 1. (Rampersad. R. 2003). However where there exists a perfect disagreement between two rankings, the value is -1 while completely independent rankings bear the value zero. In this research the value of tau b is -.046. This value tends to be more close to the point of independence. It can be concluded therefore that these two variables exhibit a considerable level of independence from each other. The effect of parent’s involvement on the student’s achievement is minimal if not non-existent. However, to some extent it may be argued that it somehow inclined to the negative side. This depicts some level of disagreement. It may therefore true to say that parental involvement has no effect in mathematics achievement of students. However, when it does, it is usually skewed to the negative side hence affecting the performance negatively. Rather than parental involvement improving student’s achievement in mathematics, it may have no effect or be accompanied by a decreases in student’s performance.

The gamma statistics also used in this research establish whether there is any relation of the aforementioned variables to student’s performance in mathematics. The value of -.087 shows there exists quite a weak relationship between our variables of consideration. This is depicted by its closeness to zero, a point where no relationship exists. It is quite significant (.001), approx sig. while the existing relationship between the variables is quite weak, the significance on the other hand is quite high. The negative value assets the dominance of the off diagonal of the table. It implies that with more parental involvement, the students are more likely to experience reduced achievement.

Somers’d is more of a modification of gamma. The surplus of concordant pairs is given as a percentage of concordant, discordant with the relevant tied pairs of observations. Basically they range from ranges from -1 to +1(House, 2002).there offer a form of perfect as well as strict monotonic associations to perfect ordered monotonic association (House, 2002). The -0.050 values attained in this research expresses a weak relation between the study variables. The negative symmetrical value, just like for the case of gamma and tau b support the conclusion that whenever parental involvement exerts influence on the students achievement in mathematics, it will probably be to the negative and will most likely produce the undesired result.

The results aforementioned seem to give quite a contradiction to what we had earlier expected from our literature review. Earlier in the literature review, there existed statement on which expectations were based on. According to these expectations there was express need for all stakeholders to work together in order to improve the students achievement. The research to the contrary reveals that not all the stakeholders need not be involved. The research establishes that just by virtue of being a stakeholder, there exists no guarantee that one has positive impact on the development of student achievements. Through this research it will be indeed true to that parent’s involvement has little effect on the achievement of the students in terms of academic achievements especially in mathematics. This is true in Australia as this is where the research sample emanates from. The results treats us to shocking reality that despite the much effort that parents put on trying to influence the performance of their children n mathematics, their role plays little or non-significant part in improving performance. One may argue that things like tokens play a role in enhancing performance yet they come from parents. One thing that should be noted is that what these token do s just to encourage performance of probably good students who would do well even without them however, the weak students would experience little or even negative change in case token offers are forwarded to them. In most cases parental involvement has no effect and in instances when it does, it is usually skewed to the negative side i.e. it’s in contradiction to the desired goal. The results further contradicts the widespread public belief that ‘by up to 81% of the parents that their involvement in the in child daily class work improves performance’ (Greenwood, L. 1997). While this study is limited to mathematics, its finding probably would be similar to those of other subjects given the similarity of factors that usually affect performance. These are things like attitude, will, and commitment e.t.c.

Discussion of Results pertaining to relation between students mathematics achievement in relation to teachers involvement

Teachers are basically charged with basic function of imparting knowledge to the students. It however is true that there involvement in students mathematics achievement may produce results which are contrary to what many may be aware or perceive to be true. This research through its finding has developed its own conclusive results as per the findings.

As much as the relation still lies to the negative, it is true that in the case of teacher the relation is much stronger compared to the case of relation with parent’s involvement. However one thing that is true is that the relation is more of negative than positive at -0.051. This may be as a result of attitude exhibited by the students in case they are corrected by the teachers. They might tend to view it from the punishment perspective rather than as a corrective measure to assist in improving their performance. Its significance however is much more reduced when compared to the previous case of parent’s involvement. Teacher’s attitudes also come in to play a critical role in establishing the relation between teachers involvement students achievement. Of importance the student’s reaction to such involvements as this might even at some point lead to resentment of the subject, mathematics in this case and eventually the negative results as exhibited.

Using tau b, we have -0.027 which is much more close to 0 as compared to the case of parent’s involvement. Just like the case of gamma, it further illustrates that teacher involvement has more effect to student’s performance as compared. Its negative effect on student’s achievement is much more reduced. Its value puts it at an even more close point to independence. It however still has negative effect than positive to the student’s performance. There exists neither a perfect agreement nor a perfect disagreement between the variables. The two variables are almost independent of each other.

Somers’d just like in the case of parents has been used here to give ‘a surplus of concordant pairs as a percentage of concordant, discordant and also the relevant tied pairs of observations. It ranges from -1 to +1’ (Krueger, A. B. 1999). The -0.030 values expresses a weak relation between the study variables of these research. The relation is however much stronger as compared to those of parent’s case (Krueger, A. B. 1999). The symmetrical value of negative shows just like for the case of gamma and tau b that when parental involvement has influence on the students achievement in mathematics, it will probably be to the negative.

The result in this case just like the previous one seems to offer some contradictions to the expectations of the study. Some previous researchers have argued that given the complexity of mathematics, a strong student teacher bond should be established in order to enhance performance.(Lamb & Fullerton, 2002). However, the findings of this research has gone contrary to this by putting little significance to the teacher involvement in either stimulating or encouraging students to improve on their performance. The previous focus on the literature review put focus on strengthening of teacher student bonds. It also raised the need of parent’s willingness to participating in improving their Childs academic welfare. However, this study can be said to support only the issue of teachers providing the necessary materials to the students but refraining fro active participation in their children’s performance in mathematics. This as per this research can result in negative and undesired results from the student. The teacher’s efficacy and competence to encourage students to perform better is then put into question (Chang & Wu, 2007). This research instead considerably dissociates student’s performance from teacher’s involvement. It instead supports the idea that good students will always be good wile poor ones are more likely to remain poor. This is true given the difference in IQ’s. With such results it’s important to try and identify the various factors that can be said to affect the performance of students.

First and foremost, attitude can be said to be the major cause of such unexpected result. While one may argue that teachers given their societal status play an important role in shaping students performance, it is also evident that in most cases students have had a negative towards teacher’s involvement in their performance (Orhun, N. 2007). The students have viewed teachers involvement as meddlesome which has in turn led to results contrary to those expected. Another factor is the breakdown of teacher student communication. Without proper channels of communication, any attempts by the teacher to get involved in the students performance might be met with plenty of resistance.

One thing that is true is that good students need more of encouragement than constant perusal of their work. On the other hand, the weak student loose courage and self confidence in doing their work when constantly they have their work checked. They feel victimized rather than corrected and in turn develop negative attitudes towards the subject of study.

Discussion of the results for the relationship between student’s mathematics achievement and the student teacher relationship

For the case of a student-teacher relationship and its impact on students performance, it’s important that the values of tau b, gamma and Somers’d are all more aligned to the negative. The vales tend to move more from 0 which is the point of independence. This reflects more relation between student’s mathematics achievement and student teacher relationship. It therefore is evident that unlike just mere involvement student teacher relationship tends to have more impact on the performance of the student.

In general, there exists a realization that most of these values are to the negative. This gives an implication that other than these assigned variables there are other factors which have direct influence on the students performance. Such factors are like students own attitude, access to resources and materials, motivation, peer pressure and influence among others.


This study can said to have achieved much. It provides key results which may be key to decision making in the nearby future. In addition, the results can help the various stakeholders in making key decisions as well as formulating policies which would impact on the students positively. (Rampersad. R. 2003). The conclusive results obtained can be said to have addressed the various questions that presented a challenge to the research. These are;

  • The relationship between students mathematics achievement and teachers support
  • The relationship between student’s mathematics achievement and the parent’s involvement
  • The relationship between student’s mathematics achievement and the student teacher relationship
  • How the above factors contribute mostly to student mathematics performance

The research however cannot be generalized to all as there are exclusive circumstances when either a teachers or a parent’s involvement in a child education has yielded positive results, (Goodboy, A.K., & Myers, S.A. 2008).The research’s validity can therefore be said to stand only under similar environmental conditions. The differences may arise from the diverse backgrounds and points of origin. Some key aspects like behaviors of mathematics teachers, parental behavior among others result in such results. However there are some other factors that influence these results. It is on this basis that it is recommended that;

  • Parents should limit their meddling to student’s person to only the times of necessity. They should instead focus more on advising the students rather than criticizing.
  • Teachers should be careful with their moods when communication with the students. Teachers involvement in students performance should not be so criticism oriented but should instead take form of encouragement
  • Parents should be provided with information on how to handle information involving their children’s performance.

Contributions by parents as well as teachers’ in educational pursuit yield varying results in varied locations. Of importance is the behavior of Mathematics teachers. (Berthelsen, D. & Walker, S. 2008). This could be the basis of the findings of this research which contradict the anticipated results. Rather than improving the student’s achievement, it has been found through this research to have little or even negative pact on the academic performance/achievement of students. The effect has to do more with attitude and motivation the teachers offer to their students. The lack of relation between these two can also be argued to be as a result of students varied attitudes (Peña, D. C. 2000). While most good students feel proud and unwilling to have external forces interfere, the weak students are not ready or even willing to accept criticism as this further makes tem withdraw into their solitary cocoons thereby leading to negative impact from teacher’s involvement (Cooper, 2005). Parental academic pressure as well as support is definitely negatively related students achievements in mathematics.ths is as per this research

It is important to note that exists other researches that have given results contrary to this. This may be as a result of the different regions of study as the are various factors that affect the outcomes (Greenwood, L. 1997). The differences may arise from parental beliefs and the home school relationships across the socio economic, racial and ethnic groups (Chang, Y.L., & Wu, S.C. 2007). The negative effects may result from the divergent beliefs which later lead to misconceptions and eventually impact negatively on the student’s achievements. The impact of parental involvement still remains an issue for exploration as it would not give the same results in one region to another (House, J. D. 2002).

The key limitations to providing an all inclusive research include; the small sample space, This might in the end not be an effective or rather a representative sample of the actual picture on the ground; Gender issues might also fail to feature as an important factor to consider when collecting data (Orhun,. 2007). This is true as mathematics has always been known for its gender bias; Also some respondents to questions might not be willing to give proper information required ass some may just give answers that do not necessarily reflect the true situation on the ground.

In conclusion, it’s important to note that this research does not offer a voice of finality but only a bridge towards more such research for the betterment of educational performance. The results may vary from one region to another given the diversity of Australia especially in terms of economic backgrounds. (Akinsola, 2007). However, it’s important to note that several regions have previously conducted research of similar nature and similar results obtained. To some extent then it may be true that the two variables of our study have little impact on student achievement.

Work Cited

Akinsola, M. K. & Tella, A. (2007). Correlates of Academic Procrastination and Mathematics Achievement of University Undergraduate Students. p.363-370.

Berthelsen, D. & Walker, S. (2008). Parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Family matters. p.34-41.

Chang, Y.L., & Wu, S.C. (2007). An Exploratory Study of Elementary Beginning Mathematics Teacher Efficacy. Proceeds of the 31st Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Seoul.

Cooper, T.J., Baturo, A.R., & Warren, E. (2005). Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Teaching Relationships in 3 Mathematics Classrooms in Remote Queensland. Melbourne. p.265-272.

Goodboy, A.K., & Myers, S.A. (2008). The Effect of Teacher Confirmation on Student Communication and Learning Outcomes. Communication Education. 57(2). P. 153- 179.

Greenwood, L. (1997). Psychological and Contextual Factors Influencing Mathematics Achievement. Paper Presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference, Brisbane.

House, J. D. (2002). Instructional Practices and Mathematics Achievement of Adolescent Students in Chinese Taipei: Results from the TIMSS 1999 Assessment. Child study journal. 32 (3). p. 157-178.

Krueger, A. B. (1999). Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. p. 497-532.

Orhun, N. (2007). An Investigation into the Mathematics Achievement and Attitude towards Mathematics with Respect to Learning Style According to Gender. International journal of mathematical education in science and technology. 38 (3). p. 321- 333.

Peña, D. C. (2000). Parent Involvement: Influencing Factors and Implications. The Journal of Educational Research. 94 (1). p. 42-54.

Rampersad. R. (2003). Mathematics Anxiety and Achievement in Mathematics 436. Department of Integrated Studies in Education. McGill University.

Rothman, S., & McMillan, J. (2003). Influences on achievement in literacy and Numeracy. LSAY Research Report Number 36. Melbourne.

Zacharos, K., Koliopoulos, D., Dokimaki, M., & Kassoumi, H. (2007). Views of prospective early childhood education teachers, towards mathematics and its instruction. European Journal of Teacher Education. 30(3). P.305-318.