Everyone can create the necessary opportunities that help children learn and become confident with mathematics: parents/families/caregivers, teachers, policy makers, principals, and administrators -- by working together and independently to achieve the common goal of improving student learning.
To be successful in school and future careers, all students need to become mathematically proficient1. Educators have an important role forming partnerships with family and community members to support children as they develop knowledge, skill, and confidence with mathematics. Components in Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® support educators, families, and caregivers in helping all children learn mathematics.
A key factor is that children know that the adults in their life think they can be successful learning mathematics. However, according to the report Everybody Counts people in the United States believe that learning mathematics depends on special ability. Students, parents, and teachers in other countries all expect that most students can master mathematics if only they work hard enough. "In other nations where more is expected, more mathematics is learned." (1989, pp. 10, 82).
In Helping Children Learn Mathematics (2002), Kilpatrick and Swafford report that "When parents and teachers alike believe that hard work pays off, and when mathematics is taught and learned by using all the strands of proficiency, mathematics performance improves for all students." (p. 21).
1The term mathematical proficiency is used in the report Helping Children Learn Mathematics (2002) to express what it means "for anyone to learn mathematics successfully" (p. 9).