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Racism in Math Classrooms

Racism in Math Classrooms
Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
Clockhouse, Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Rd.
Plainfield, VT

Faculty member Dr. Newcomb Greenleaf leads a discussion on math identities based on the the work of mathematics educator Danny Bernard Martin.

Free and open to the public as presented by Goddard College's Undergraduate Program.  Questions? Contact karen.werner@goddard.edu

Racism and sexism, on top of the widespread math phobia of this culture, lead to enormous suffering and trauma in math classrooms. Drawing on the work of mathematics educator Danny Bernard Martin, we will shift the focus away from “mathematics ability” and explore our math identities. Discussion led by faculty member Dr. Newcomb Greenleaf.

Says Dr. Greenleaf: The history of racism in mathematics is clear and unchallenged. We will look at this history, and at the “colorblind racism” prevalent in today’s math classrooms. The workshop is greatly indebted to the writings of the mathematics educator Danny Bernard Martin, whose analyses have helped to change the focus from an imagined notion of “mathematics ability” to the very real “mathematics identity” into which we are socialized. We will all explore our math identities in the workshop. Racism and sexism, on top of the widespread math phobia of this culture, lead to enormous suffering and trauma in math classrooms. Taking a wider view, consider the contrast between ethnomathematics, which considers mathematics to be part of culture, and Platonism, the dominant philosophy that views mathematics as absolute truth about timeless objects which transcend culture, and indeed transcend humanity. We’ll ask if philosophy matters: Does Platonism enable racism?