Case Study 7 - Reflections on Position: Relational agency in researching 'everyday maths'.

Jo Rose, Tim Jay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter discusses the relationships between researchers and parent participants in a project that aimed to empower parents to support their children’s informal mathematics learning. The Everyday Maths project used a parent-centred approach to empower parents in supporting their children’s maths learning at home, through a series of workshops that took place in primary schools. In particular, we focus on relational issues between us (as researchers), parents, and schools - specifically, the way in which those relationships enabled both researchers and participants to develop new ways of thinking about their roles and positions, as well as develop their understanding about mathematics and about research. Relational agency (Edwards, 2010, 2017a) is used to understand the way in which these relationships played out. We also consider the way in which schools, as hosts of the project, impacted on this thinking. We reflect on schools’ positions in the dynamics: they welcomed and supported our project, but as the project evolved we questioned the way that schools positioned parents in relation to supporting children’s learning, and encouraged parents to rethink their role. The potential for such disruption of relationships will be considered from an ethical stance. As researchers, we explore the ways in which we came to recognise each other's perspectives and develop a set of common understandings that were fundamental to our methodological approaches in this study.  
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepositioning Out-of-School Learning: Methodological challenges and possibilities for researching learning beyond school
EditorsJo Rose, Tim Jay, Janet Goodall, Laura Mazzoli Smith, Liz Todd
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameEmerald Studies in Out-of-School Learning

Bibliographical note

Edited by Rose, J., Jay, T., Goodall, J., Mazzoli Smith, L. and Todd, L.

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education


  • Parent engagement
  • Researcher position
  • Mathematics learning
  • Parent workshops
  • Research relationships
  • Relational agency


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