In writing about the Leftist idiocy that is, more and more, taking over public education, I sometimes think there is nothing left to surprise me. I am, of course, wrong. The depths of Leftist depravity are unfathomable. This is particularly true in math education.
One would think it would not be possible to impose leftist ideology on mathematics. History, certainly; English, of course, but Math? Math, as I noted in Math Madness in October of 2017:
A math education professor at the University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and geometry skills perpetuate ‘unearned privilege’ among whites.
Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Illinois, made the claim in a new anthology for math teachers, arguing that teachers must be aware of the ‘politics that mathematics brings’ in society.
‘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.
Professor Luis A Leyva at Vanderbilt is also determined to establish a socially just mathematics:
In a recent article titled Unpacking the Male Superiority Myth and Masculinization of Mathematics at the Intersection, Professor Luis A. Leyva argues that factors such as teacher expectations and cultural norms ‘serve as gendering mechanisms that give rise to sex-based achievement differences.’
Citing the ‘masculinization of mathematics,’ Leyva then suggests that the apparent ‘gender gap’ in mathematical ability is socially constructed (as opposed to arising from inherently different cognitive abilities) and therefore a ‘myth of male superiority.
To this, I replied:
Leyva may be onto something. I know I’ve always been made to feel inferior by virile, hyper-masculine math geeks with their bulging brains, and trendy, black framed glasses and pocket protectors. If I could have a dollar for every time I’ve heard women swooning over men good at math, drooling over their manly proofs and theorems…
And in January, 2018, In Math is Hard–And Racist, I wrote about a college professor that argues math is racist:
A math education professor at Brooklyn College contends in a recent academic article that ‘meritocracy’ in math classes is a ‘tool of whiteness.
To which I responded:
Translation: Math is racist because it demands non-white people be able to actually do math.
One might think “so what? Who cares what leftist twerps in some college are doing?” The problem is those twerps are teaching current teachers, and indoctrinating the next generation, as I also noted:
Teaching Social Justice through Secondary Mathematics” is a six-week online course designed by Teach for America and offered through EdX, which provides free online classes from top universities such as Harvard University, MIT, and Columbia University. [skip]
‘Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local social justice issues within your mathematics classroom?’ a course overview asks. ‘This education and teacher training course will help you blend secondary math instruction with topics such as inequity, poverty, and privilege to transform students into global thinkers and mathematicians.’
According to the website, the course can even help students to learn math, because while many aspects of middle- and high-school math ‘can seem abstract to students,’ the developers claim that ‘setting the mathematics within a specially-developed social justice framework can help students realize the power and meaning of both the data and social justice concerns.
The College Fix reports on how deeply entrenched these dangerous ideas have become:
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.
It will come as no surprise to learn the NCOTOM did not respond to a request for clarification from The College Fix.
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. [skip]
‘ … 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?
Teaching math for social justice – this paper shares the process of analyzing school math curriculum as an entryway to engage elementary age students’ awareness around the hidden curriculum, transphobia, and genderism,’ Yeh has shared.
What’s wrong with this? Math is hard. It takes enormous concentration and focus on the concepts involved. There is no time in an already rushed curriculum to inject political indoctrination of any kind. This is true, not only in math, but in any academic discipline.
I was born without the math gene. I do not, while contemplating equations, see the inherent structure and unity of the universe. I aced my college math courses, but that was because I know how to memorize and study effectively. I did not have a minute in those classes to spare on anything but struggling with the math. As an educator, I consider any attempt at political indoctrination in the place of curriculum professional malpractice and fraud.
The Left, gentle readers, has been working towards this for decades, and circa 2019, they have finally gone public with their true intentions. Their intentions have nothing to do with actual education. People who want to engage in leftist indoctrination belong on the streets of Portland, beating innocent people, not in the classroom.
This is happening in the public schools from the earliest grades, and is the default in colleges–unless and until we stop it. By all means, take the links and read the articles. There is much work to do.