From the website:
What…the HELL…is that supposed to mean? What does it have to do with mathematics? Aside from the part that is basic to all teaching, like paying attention to one’s students, how does this help students learn math? “Racist and sorting-based mechanisms” are what, grades? Rewarding and recognizing correct answers and techniques over mistakes and confusion? I know mathematicians aren’t known for their facility with language, but was some consultant paid to write this drivel?
Tell me if I’m mistaken, but this reads like a political cult initiation pledge, not legitimate guidance for math teachers. And indeed, that appears to be what it is. The College Fix reports,
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.”
“ … Calculus was a monumental achievement and deserves to have authorship recognized with Newton. But more students encounter the work of Brahmagupta than Newton. But, what if it wasn’t Newton that discovered calculus? What if it was Japanese scholar Seki Takakazu? We will never know. But the bigger idea is why couldn’t this be a possibility? Do we not want to be dislodged from the entrenched Western narrative?”
Meanwhile, there have been numerous online sessions and webinars to train teachers to adapt to an equity-based approach to math.
A recent online chat session titled “Diversity & Inclusion: Math ED Spaces” discussed on Twitter looked at a student’s sense of belonging and racial diversity in math education, according to a thread by one of the session’s participants.
“We heard … about creating a sense of belonging for students & teachers of color prompting us to become self-reflective of our work & take action,” tweeted Naomi Jessup, assistant professor of mathematics education at Georgia State University….
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has also hosted math equity webinars. In one 2018 webinar titled “Developing Social Justice Mathematics Activists in Pre-K-Grade 5,” its online description states that “when paired with issues of fairness, mathematics becomes a social justice tool that empowers students to mathematically recognize and address oppression they see in their own world.”