tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post46724264051267508..comments2024-02-23T05:11:31.034-08:00Comments on Always Formative: Supporting Teachers of ColorJason Buellhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03029995715142652159noreply@blogger.comBlogger11125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-54268883961353302052014-02-07T09:19:24.374-08:002014-02-07T09:19:24.374-08:00I read the linked article "Hope Required when...I read the linked article "Hope Required when Growing Roses in Concrete". Have you actually read it? Real hope is about improving students' lives so that the already existing real world has a few more successful people. It is not about claiming fiat to change the world remotely.<br /><br />As more and more people are awakening out of the spell of Postmodernism, the leaders of Postmodernism are using ever more hardball tactics to try to reclaim the loyalty of the public. And this myth of a "system" of racism, which you unfortunately seem to have SHL&S, is their latest campaign.<br /><br />If reality is a story, then its author is formless -- without race, gender, or any other category mere mortals hold against each other.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-84297104354161599672013-09-02T08:23:00.878-07:002013-09-02T08:23:00.878-07:00@jybuell I believe I will take you up on writing a...@jybuell I believe I will take you up on writing a blog post on my current thoughts on the intersection of Math and Racism. Maybe I'll share some of the key thoughts I have, at least at the moment, here.<br /><br />First, Avery's note that it acts as a gatekeeper is in many ways primary in importance. For me, it is very important to understand that dynamic much much further. And that math is not neutral, in fact it is highly political, is a second core issue here.<br /><br />The "Math" that we attend to in our culture and in our schools is overwhelmingly the mathematics of a bunch of white dudes. And hence, that makes it appear that the white dudes know/do math. This line f thought goes further, but where my interest lies in that , although all mathematics is the product of human minds, and that all human minds are mathematical and thus constantly doing math, there is an expectation that most people are NOT mathematical & incapable. To me, that systemic belief allows certain people to be labeled as better than others. Math tests are like our current IQ tests--designed to weed out the incapable.<br /><br />Grace mentions how our language values very certain ways of thinking as "better than." I also appreciate the line of thought that has taught many people that they cannot reason through the mathematical experiences of their lives, and risk the actual oppression of such relationships (previously my comments emphasized the intellectual oppression).<br /><br />So--there is some value in delineating the ways in which Math (I use the capital when I speak of School Math as opposed to children's math). However, the bigger value, for me, would be to list some small number of subversive steps a teacher could take, within her/his classroom, to empower her students against the intellectual and social oppression of Math. Further, to act against those oppressive forces and make change for our society more broadly. Although it is often trivialized, I suspect evidence that we are achieving that begins when more people say things like "I can do math" and "I enjoy doing math." Notice I did not use capital M. <br /><br />Thanks for allowing some stream of conscious.blaw0013https://www.blogger.com/profile/13023564844812039091noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-57091679780112512352013-08-04T18:30:22.633-07:002013-08-04T18:30:22.633-07:00Agree. Thanks for your thoughtful reading :)Agree. Thanks for your thoughtful reading :)gracehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09629147659164801681noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-62108498420291902822013-08-04T18:29:37.288-07:002013-08-04T18:29:37.288-07:00I'd be eager to continue this conversation, al...I'd be eager to continue this conversation, although I don't know what I'd have to add that y'all haven't already been thinking about. When I consider the intersection of math and racism, the first things that come to mind are a) that assumption of neutrality and objectivity that Jason mentions - after all, we can't argue with numbers, right? b) the values implied in what we often believe or describe mathematics to be - what are we implicitly or explicitly saying matters when we say that we strive for "logical" "rational" "linear" and/or "abstract" thinking, particularly when presented devoid of context? c) the use of mathematics as an instrument of power - not just as a gatekeeper of access/opportunity in the form of standardized tests as Avery describes, but also in maintaining confusion and consequent compliance when it comes to things like subprime mortgages, payday lending, tax liabilities and/or government benefits, etc.<br /><br />I'm sure there are many more factors here, and Brian, I think we agree about the role of mathematics in the institutionalization of racism. I also think there are many ways in which teachers can provide students access to mathematics as this language of power - like what Jason describes. What I wonder is what our role is in refuting this relationship, rather than just helping students navigate existing structures. <br /><br />Sadly, I'm not in your time zone, but I hope we can find other ways to keep chatting!gracehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09629147659164801681noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-23213613783533680652013-08-02T08:03:51.697-07:002013-08-02T08:03:51.697-07:00I can't speak for Grace, but I know when I sta...I can't speak for Grace, but I know when I started writing this post "print it out as a conversation starter" and "let other teachers of color know they're not alone" were my two highest hopes. Thanks for saying that, it really helps. Jason Buellhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/03029995715142652159noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-92226994775074127492013-07-31T14:13:32.845-07:002013-07-31T14:13:32.845-07:00I also think the role of math as a gatekeeper can&...I also think the role of math as a gatekeeper can't be ignored. This is very much related to the idea of neutrality as someone is deciding that math tests (ie the SAT) should play a crucial role in "advancement" and is also deciding what these tests look like.Avery Pickfordhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10433339146333801163noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-62384879054874548202013-07-31T07:04:58.120-07:002013-07-31T07:04:58.120-07:00Thanks for this post. So much to think about and t...Thanks for this post. So much to think about and thanks especially for the further reading recommendations. As someone who's trying to move from "look at me, a white dude in a diverse school!" to being an active ally, this list is something I want to print out and keep at school.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-52815521170076491762013-07-29T17:14:52.975-07:002013-07-29T17:14:52.975-07:00Thanks. We appreciate hearing that. If you have an...Thanks. We appreciate hearing that. If you have anything you'd like to add or critique, post on your blog and let me know or I can give you space on my own blog if you'd like to be anonymous.Jason Buellhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/03029995715142652159noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-84883128183885500102013-07-29T17:14:10.037-07:002013-07-29T17:14:10.037-07:00Thanks Brian. I'm defering to Grace here and a...Thanks Brian. I'm defering to Grace here and am hoping she'll catch this when she gets back from vacation.<br /><br />I feel like I wouldn't be saying anything new to you. We've talked about many things: broadening what it means to be smart in math, valuing what students bring and their ways of knowing, using math as a gatekeeper, etc. <br /><br />Ultimately I think the danger about math in particular is the assumption of neutrality. It's easier to see the values embedded in the choices we make about history and literature, less so in math. <br /><br />We'll talk more. This is its own post at some point and if you want to get that started on your own blog, I'd love to read it.Jason Buellhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/03029995715142652159noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-73339005378517042722013-07-29T09:35:12.987-07:002013-07-29T09:35:12.987-07:00I like those tips. Very insightful. I can definite...I like those tips. Very insightful. I can definitely relate to alot of what you and Grace talked about. Anonymoushttps://www.blogger.com/profile/10757118762297150761noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5053151003977377665.post-73636401634997284382013-07-28T16:18:46.521-07:002013-07-28T16:18:46.521-07:00Jason, and Grace:
Thank you for the post. I'v...Jason, and Grace:<br /><br />Thank you for the post. I've also followed the comments you've (Jason) been making on Twitter. I want to tread lightly regarding issues you've raised because I am that white male, yet I don't want to get stuck in inaction. So, with a fear of not showing the value of the suggestions you made above, I ask about my greatest curiosity: in what ways do you see mathematics involved in racism, and in the enactment of racism?<br /><br />Can a mathematics education serve in liberatory ways? Or, in allowing it to provide that power, does it remain a racist structure?<br /><br />And so, should mathematics education refuse mathematics? And what other questions? What actions should shape our work as math teachers?<br /><br />It is my interest to interrogate the intersection of racism and mathematics, or more specifically mathematics education. It is hugely clear to me that mathematics itself plays a significant role in the institutionalization of racism, at least here in the US.<br /><br />I wonder, might we create a monthly or bimonthly conversation on this topic of racism and mathematics education in the San Francisco (or greater Bay) Region?blaw0013https://www.blogger.com/profile/13023564844812039091noreply@blogger.com