Conversations Between Parents & Kids Increase Math Scores

Ming Ming Chiu of the University of Buffalo observed informal conversations between parents and children in his recent study, Inequality, family, school, and mathematics achievement: Country and student differences (Social Forces journal).

After examining familial patterns in more than 100,000 students, Chiu showed that communications around current affairs, such as the recent BP oil spill, can help boost math achievement. Through discussion, children develop “mental models of mathematical quantities and processes” which support formal instruction in the classroom, resulting in higher scores.

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