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Friday Ephemera

Insert Ideology Here

And maybe the parents won’t notice.

So, apparently, there’s an “intersection of mathematics and social justice.” In fact, there’s an entire six-week teacher-training course devoted to this hitherto unrecognised intersection and its propagation among middle-school children, i.e., the young and unsuspecting. Especially, of course, the “social justice” part:

Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local social justice issues within your mathematics classroom? 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.

Yes, students will be transformed.

As Campus Reform’s Toni Airaksinen reports

Participants in the online course are given sample ideas for lessons they could create, such as using math to teach students about “Unpaid Work Hours in the Home by Gender” and “Race and Imprisonment Rates in the United States.”

Loaded insinuations are so much easier to get away with when you’re dealing with impressionable youngsters.

The module also identifies five main themes of “intersectional mathematics,” including “mathematical ethics,” which refers to the notion that math is often used as a tool of oppression, according to the instructors. “For centuries, mathematics has been used as a dehumanising tool,” they write, citing the example of how IQ can be used against people who score in the lower half of the distribution.

And so children - other people’s children - must be taught to “subvert power, question normalcy, and change society as we understand it.” When, strictly speaking, they should be learning about more humdrum things, like geometry, trigonometry and spatial reasoning.

And if you assume that shame alone will stop such people, or give them pause, even momentarily, I very much think you’re wrong.