“[Math] operates with unearned privilege in society, in the same way that whiteness does.”
Rochelle Gutierrez’s #shadowcon16 talk is up – check out the video.
“We all contribute to the kinds of identities students develop, both in our classrooms, and long into life. So when you think about those reactions you get from people when you say you’re a math teacher, that’s been carried with them into their lives.”
“All mathematics teachers are identity workers.”
Blend that with Kaneka Turner’s talk, and ask yourself – who gets invited to the math party? Who gets the invitation to be “good at math?” How can I extend the invitation?
“Teaching mathematics is political, I say it’s because every day we make in the moment decisions that affect students not just in the classroom, but long into their lives. We hear others talking about our students, labeling them or creating policies that will affect them. And we ourselves, we carry out assessments that will tell them something about themselves. Not just something about what they’ve learned, but also something about their value or their worth in this society.”
I believe to my core that all students are capable of learning about and engaging in meaningful mathematics. It is imperative I examine the ways in which I inadvertently send the wrong message to students about their own ability or access to math, and the way that gets bound up with other cultural messages about identity and status.
Go listen and learn. Happy Thursday.