Talk about insane! This one takes home the trophy! It used to be algebra and geometry were required courses for those students who wished to attend college. They were considered college prep classes.
Now, these same classes are considered ‘racist’? Come on people! This is nothing more than political correctness gone amok!
A professor at the University of Illinois made the claim that algebra and geometry perpetuate white privilege because “emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi” give the impression that math “was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”
Rochelle Gutierrez’ work “focuses on equity issues in mathematics education,” and worries that evaluations of math skills can perpetuate discrimination against minorities, especially if they do worse than white students.
Campus Forum reports:
“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White,” Gutierrez argued.
Gutierrez also worries that algebra and geometry perpetuate privilege, fretting that “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”
Math also helps actively perpetuate white privilege too, since the way our economy places a premium on math skills gives math a form of “unearned privilege” for math professors, who are disproportionately white.
“Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?” she asks, further wondering why math professors get more research grants than “social studies or English” professors.
Further, she also worries that evaluations of math skills can perpetuate discrimination against minorities, especially if they do worse than their white counterparts.
“If one is not viewed as mathematical, there will always be a sense of inferiority that can be summoned,” she says, adding that there are so many minorities who “have experienced microaggressions from participating in math classrooms… [where people are]judged by whether they can reason abstractly.”
To fight this, Gutierrez encourages aspiring math teachers to develop a sense of “political conocimiento,” a Spanish phrase for “political knowledge for teaching.”
Unbelievable! This is nothing more than political correctness gone amok! Totally insane!
National Review responded:
Now, whenever I see stories like this, I just have to ask one question: What, exactly is Gutierrez proposing that we do? Because other than her statement that “things cannot be known objectively; they must be known subjectively” — apparently, a suggestion that additional focus, respect, and grants should be given to nonmathematical fields — I’m not really seeing one.
This is particularly true when it comes to her statement that math curricula “emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi” makes math seem too Greek and European. To me, it seems like the decision about what to teach in mathematics should be based solely on the standard of what will be most important for students to learn in order to succeed.
From the Daily Wire:
In a joint statement released last year, two organizations, TODOS: Mathematics for All and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) said “social justice” is “a key priority in the access to, engagement with, and advancement in mathematics education for our country’s youth.”
“[A] social justice stance interrogates and challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics education — and in society as a whole,” reads the lengthy missive.
NCSM and TODOS went on to assert that, historically, math has perpetuated “segregation and separation” since “mathematics achievement, often measured by standardized tests, has been used as a gate-keeping tool to sort and rank students by race, class, and gender starting in elementary school.”
“Citing the practice of ‘tracking,’” notes Campus Reform, “in which pupils are sorted by academic ability into groups for certain classes, NCSM and TODOS argue that ‘historically, mathematics and the perceived ability to learn mathematics have been used to educate children into different societal roles such as leadership/ruling class and labor/working class leading to segregation and separation.’”
The statement continues, lamenting the notion that students must “master the basics” before tackling complex problems:
In practice, children placed in “low” groups experience mathematics as an isolating act consisting of fact-driven low cognitive demand tasks and an absence of mathematics discourse opportunities. This is because of a pervasive misguided belief that students must “master the basics” (e.g., know the times tables or “basic facts”) prior to engaging with complex problems solving.
NCSM and TODOS are also deeply concerned about white teachers in classrooms comprised of mostly minority and immigrant students.
“The groups also bemoan the ‘white and middle class’ workforce of math teachers, fretting that it may not appropriately ‘reflect’ the demographics of the communities in which they teach, such as immigrant or racial minority communities,” notes Campus Reform. “Social justice could be the key to solving these issues, they say, calling on math teachers to assume a ‘social justice stance’ that ‘challenges the roles power, privilege, and oppression play in the current unjust system of mathematics.’”
Addressing the grievances listed in their statement, the organizations plan on hosting a free webinar, opening to the public a hearing called “A Call for a Collective Action to Develop Awareness: Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education.”
Where has the world come to? I’m so sorry, but kids do NEED to master the basic facts before they can go onto things like algebra and geometry. That’s a fact. As a former mathematics teacher, almost every teacher that has ever taught math would tell you the same thing too!
Talk about a dummy down society! When you stop teaching the basics and don’t require kids to know their simple addition, subtraction and multiplication facts – you have big problems. Aren’t there enough kids who work retail, who don’t know how to give the correct change anymore, without a digital cash register thinking for them? Come on people! This is NONSENSE!
This is reprehensible for our schools to do this! It goes along with schools not teaching cursive writing. Public education used to be quality. Now it’s a joke.
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