Getting Specific About Equity and Humanizing Mathematics
I’d like to highlight what I see as a burgeoning trend in many parts of the math edutwittersphere. Roughly, this trend involves ideas like equity, humanizing mathematics, critical theory, and power and identity. This trend seems to be distinct from other topics in math ed like cognitive science and mindset research but still closely connected, and I’ve noticed at least three general types of activities surrounding this idea of equity, humanizing mathematics, and applying a critical lens:
- Spread, Reflect, Critique: Calling out others and ourselves to attend more fully to the work of unlearning, self-reflection, and critique.
- Research: Collecting, analyzing, and reporting qualitative data on moves and practices that support this work.
- Specification: Being specific about the ways we operationalize ideas about equity and humanizing mathematics.
Item 3 might be the toughest to do well but it’s also vital for us if we want to move forward as a math ed community. Thankfully, the Virtual Conference on Humanizing Mathematics represents one of several ways we as math educators are helping each other put our ideas about equity and humanizing mathematics into practice. The specific blog posts and Twitter threads can be found at the convention center, and instructions for submitting a contribution can be found here.
One Twitter thread caught my eye. It was by Jimmy Pai (@PaiMath), who went through every single contribution from week one and gave thoughtful, reflective comments on each one.
His feedback highlights the kind of conversations and exchange that can occur when we talk at all levels of grain size, from the critical-analogical-macroscopic reflections of Marian (@DingleTeach) and Hema’s (@HKhodai) keynote address to Chris’s (@cluzniak) share of #DebateMath and journals.
Besides the virtual conference, @JessicaTilli1 asked folx: “If you could conduct interviews for a middle school math teaching position, what are some questions you would ask?”. This triggered a host of responses, many in the realm of equity, humanizing math, and critical theory. I’ll end by highlighting just a few:
Written by Melvin Peralta (@melvinmperalta)