Macquarie University
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Exploring Remote and Metropolitan Australian Primary School Parents’ Attitudes Towards Education, Mathematics, and Technology

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posted on 2024-03-11, 00:47 authored by Garry Andrew Jones

In Australia, metropolitan primary school students consistently outperform their remote peers. Investigations at system-wide and school-based levels have been undertaken, with limited research exploring parents’ attitudes, and no comparative research undertaken exploring remote and metropolitan parents’ attitudes. This study’s purpose was to explore remote and metropolitan Australian primary school parents’ attitudes towards education, mathematics education and the role of technology in education for teaching and learning Given that parents are involved at the personal, behavioural and cognitive-intellectual level of their children, their attitudes represent a vital area of research. This comparative case study explores how parents’ attitudes towards education, mathematics and technology use for themselves and their children’s learning may have been formed. Additionally, how and why these attitudes may differ between locations. Parents’ self-efficacy for mathematics and use of technology to support their child’s mathematics learning was also explored. 

Using semi-structured interviews, anchored to, (a) role theory, (b) self-efficacy, and (c)academic socialisation, data was collected from eight parents, evenly divided between remote and metropolitan locations. Key findings are, remote parents in this study expressed more negativity and less feelings of being connected, confident or competent when considering the mathematics learning of their children in comparison to metropolitan parents. Also, some parents expressed both positive attitudes towards mathematics due to their own mathematical experiences, yet felt negatively about how these experiences related to that of their child. Additionally, parents’ self-efficacy for mathematics and technology diverged based on location, with remote parents expressing higher self-efficacy for mathematics, and metropolitan parents reporting higher self-efficacy for technology.

Discussion suggests expanding forms of practice in the parent/school/community axis through revisioning parents’ role to one of integral partners and unique holders of funds of knowledge. Additionally, that partnerships be established between parents, schools, and universities to support parents to understand current pedagogical approaches through developing parent-pre-service teacher relationships to build shared, subject-specific competence.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Literature review -- Chapter 3. Methodology -- Chapter 4. Results -- Chapter 5. Discussion -- References -- Appendices

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Master of Research

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie School of Education

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Matthew Bower

Additional Supervisor 1

Penny Van Bergen

Additional Supervisor 2

Dung Tran


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:






114 pages

Former Identifiers

AMIS ID: 329732

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