Social Justice Math

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Well, you can’t make this stuff up. After centuries racist mathematics, we’re finally waking up. And just in time, I guess.

from the College Fix:

Educators work to combat racism, whiteness in math

“Math equity” doesn’t mean 1 + 1 = 2.

The term refers to the growing insistence among educators that teaching math in the classroom comes with some inherently biased methodology that must be addressed.

Proponents of “math equity” also stress the importance of social justice issues such as race, diversity and gender in math education — a trend that’s catching on.

More professors and educators are tweeting under the hashtag #MathEquity to share strategies on the topic, and webinars and other pedagogical sessions on it abound.

“Equity-based mathematics teaching requires more than implementing new curriculum or using specific practices because it involves taking a stand for what is right,” the website for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states.

“It requires mathematics teachers to reflect on their own identity, positions, and beliefs in regards to racist and sorting-based mechanisms. It involves noticing students, learning about the worlds they live in, and building mathematics that comes from these worlds. And finally, it involves engaging other educators in partnerships to build equity-oriented communities.”

The council did not respond to requests from The College Fix for comment.

A 2018 column in Medium on math equity argues math equity must go beyond classroom teaching strategies. It argued math education is biased in favor of a Western narrative.

“The larger problem is that there are no readily recognizable names of non-white math leaders who are fluent in content and/or pedagogy,” writes Sunil Singh, who goes on to point out most celebrated mathematicians in the classroom are white: Pythagoras. Euclid. Descartes. Gauss. Newton.

“Every student of mathematics will come across the zero and the negative sign,” he states. “Yet, there is very rarely a mention of Brahmagupta in classes.”

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