Monday, March 1, 2021

The Solution To "Racist" Math-Urban And Rural Math

You may have seen the, surely insane, woke answer to racist math;

"The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently encouraged teachers to register for training that encourages "ethnomathematics" and argues, among other things, that White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer."

I won't attempt to parody this madness, those much better qualified for that sort of thing have done that;

John Hoge has a question:


I wonder how many of the education bureaucrats who are promoting the course would object to the calculations on their paychecks being done on the basis of 2 + 2 = 3.

and, frankly, it is beyond parody being utterly pathetic.

But, believe it or not the concept has found a defender in one Lance Cummings PhD;

"But how we teach math can support the racist structures within a society that has been geared towards a particular race and culture for centuries."

"White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when the focus is getting the “right” answer. The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so."

You can read the rest of his remarkable essay HERE

But I will quote one of his remarkable solutions to removing white superiority racism in math which is, apparently, to address the math curriculum regionally.


For the suburbs-thusly;

"A food truck sells salads for $6.50 each and drinks $2.00 each. The food truck’s revenue from selling a total of 209 salads and drinks in one day was $836.50. How many salads were sold that day?

 

For the white rural community-thusly; 

"Wyatt can husk at least 12 dozen ears of corn per hour. Based on this information, what is a possible amount of time, in hours, that it could take Wyatt to husk 72 dozen ears of corn.

As a Midwesterner who grew up in a rural, mostly white community, these word problems seem perfectly natural. But an urban youth might not even know about corn husks. Or an indigenous student might come from a community that functions on a bartering system. These problems make assumptions about the “right way” of doing things with math that are invisible to most privileged persons in the United States."

And for the Black urban majority community thusly;

"Most people don’t know that the Black Panthers started the first free-lunch program in the US. Though J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI tried to sabotage these efforts, President Nixon increased funding and extended it to all youth. What if we translated one of the above word problems with this alternate context?

Pretend you are running the Black Panthers’ free-lunch program. Each meal costs $1.50 and drinks are $.50. You’ve received $2000 from President Nixon’s free lunch grant. How many students can you feed?

Now the word problem isn’t about making money; it is about helping people … and the context potentially teaches us something new about an underrepresented history."

Problem solved!



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