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Ontario's 9th grade math curriculum is decolonial, equitable, and emphasizes the need to challenge systems of power and privilege

It was last August when we posted a screenshot of people, including teachers and professors, saying that 2+2=5. “Please notice the woke are NOT arguing that 2+2 always equals 5, nor do they argue that 2+2 never equals 4. The woke think there is no universally correct answer to 2+2 that is objectively true in all situations.” It was really an amazing thread.

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If you’ve been paying attention to that study of “whiteness” that’s been passed around for over a decade now, you’ll notice that “objectivity” is a characteristic of white supremacy culture. So in order to make math class anti-racist, you can’t focus on things like getting the right answer or showing your work.

James Lindsay took a look at Ontario’s ninth-grade mathematics curriculum policy, and it’s pretty woke. Among the principles guiding the curriculum is that “an equitable mathematics curriculum recognizes that mathematics can be subjective.”

In case the tweet got cut off, that reads:

Mathematics is often positioned as an objective and pure discipline. However, the content and the context in which it is taught, the mathematicians who are celebrated, and the importance that is placed upon mathematics by society are subjective. Mathematics has been used to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledges, and a decolonial, anti-racist approach to mathematics education makes visible its historical roots and social constructions. The Ontario Grade 9 mathematics curriculum emphasizes the need to recognize and challenge systems of power and privilege, both inside and outside the classroom, in order to eliminate systemic barriers and to serve students belonging to groups that have been historically disadvantaged and underserved in mathematics education.

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Ninth-grade math class “emphasizes the need to recognize and challenge systems of power and privilege.”

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This is not a drill, and it’s certainly not confined to Canada.


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