The modern world is driven by mathematics.
From checkbook balancing to rocket orbit calculations, humans rely on their ability to understand and use math tools, and our school expects young people to develop those tools.
But when and how?
Over the past eight months, the California education community has intensified a philosophical war over plans to significantly or even radically change math teaching at all grade levels.
In January, the State Education Quality Commission published a draft “Mathematics Framework”. This shifts from the traditional, somewhat straightforward approach to a racially and culturally ingrained approach, or an “awakened” approach in modern terminology.
The draft is a revision of traditional mathematics teaching, where students go from counting and simple arithmetic to geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and finally calculus, “because the subject of mathematics and the community has history. There is a lot to do. “Exclusion and filtering, not inclusion and welcome
“The idea that some people are” not good at math “(or otherwise they don’t belong to) persists, and this idea pervades many sources and at many levels. “The draft continues. “In particular, girls and black and brown children represent a group that receives the message that they cannot do high-level math more often than white and male children.”
To counter its perceived shortcomings, the proposal is to ensure that all incompetent students stay together well in high school and accelerate to higher levels of mathematics, such as calculus by those who show desire and aptitude. It essentially eliminates movements.
In addition, teaching mathematics will shift from linear manipulation of numbers to tools for social justice.
“It is imperative for math educators to convey to their students the argument that math is a tool that can be used to understand and change the world,” the draft declares.
The draft has generated backlash from supporters of traditional mathematics, including open letters signed by hundreds of scholars.
“California is on the verge of politicizing kindergarten-high school mathematics in a potentially disastrous way,” the letter declared. “The proposed math curriculum framework is presented as a step towards social justice and racial equality, but the effect is reversed. All California suffers most when schools do not teach their students. Depriving the people of the state, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, because state-approved textbooks and other materials must follow this framework and teachers are expected to use it as a guide. The possibility of stealing a promising future from us is immeasurable. “
Rather than critics reconstructing math in terms of social justice, California does a better job of teaching students, especially those in disadvantaged backgrounds, the math skills they need in the real world. I insist that it should be.
The conflict reflects the pre-confusion over the ethnic research curriculum and the current national debate about whether “critical racial theory” should be taught or banned in schools.
Proponents of the new curriculum are playing with the lives of millions of children and the state’s economic and social future. Implicitly, they are blaming the state’s embarrassingly low scores on national math achievement tests for the traditional way math has been taught by themselves.
So how do you explain why children in other states and countries are thriving in traditional mathematics? Can they prove that their proposal improves real-world results, or do they just indulge in their idealistic fantasies?
CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture that aims to explain how the California State Capitol works and why it matters. For more articles by Dan Walters, visit calmatters.org/commentary.
California educators battle over woke math – San Bernardino Sun Source link California educators battle over woke math – San Bernardino Sun