Six letters to change parents’ math expectation towards their children

Best Evidence in Brief Index

By Winnie Tam, Centre for University and School Partnership, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Gender stereotypes in math, which refers to the belief that men have superior math ability than women, can harm female students’ math competence beliefs. Similarly, students’ beliefs that math ability is inborn and does not change much with effort (fixed mindset) can weaken their competence beliefs. Lee and colleagues investigated the impact of two interventions on parents’ and students’ math beliefs.

A sample of 467 grade three and grade four students in 20 classes and their parents (over 88% mothers) at three elementary schools in Korea were randomly assigned in class units to intervention and control conditions The intervention was divided into two parts, one for parents (Intervention-P) and the other for students (Intervention-S).

In Intervention-P, parents of the intervention group received two letters each week for three consecutive weeks from August to September, while…

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