|Transdisciplinary Learning: Mathematics Blending & Intersecting
I’ve been thinking recently about transdisciplinary–different from interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary–learning, especially as it occurs in mathematics education. I realize this may be a new term, as neither the adjective nor the noun has appeared in any #MTBoS tweet at the time of writing:
Pulling a sample definition [source] for ‘transdisciplinarity’ yields the following:
“Transdisciplinarity occurs when two or more discipline perspectives transcend each other to form a new holistic approach. The outcome will be completely different from what one would expect from the addition of the parts. Transdisciplinarity … output is created as a result of disciplines integrating to become something completely new.”
One source of interest for me is around whether one can/should call ‘mathematics education’ itself a discipline, or whether it is fundamentally transdisciplinary. Another source of interest for me is around various combinations of disciplines, and whether the work happening is inter/multidisciplinary or truly transdisciplinary.
Here are a few twitter-based examples of discipline-interactions that are on my mind. [I’d love to hear about more!]
Math & Math Education: Check out this brief thread from Dr. Wandering Point. It begins with the tweet below [the “preface” clues that there are some criticisms to follow!] and contains a link to Askey’s Good Intentions Are Not Enough.
Relatedly, Michael Pershan [@mpershan] has an observation and a question related to who criticizes whom in the context of Math and Math Education:
Dr. Diaz Eaton [@mathprofcarrie], a math professor, poses the following questions around Programming & Ethics:
[BTW: I strongly recommend @_KarenHao’s recent article on making AI fairer.]
Math & Ethnic Studies: A group out of Washington has put out their K-12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework [pdf]; check out co-creator @TCastroGill’s tweet mentioning collaborators @ESMathTeacher and @fearnonumber:
The aforementioned materials inspired Jenna Laib [@jennalaib] to tweet a blog post well worth reading over:
Math & History: Check out @MathHistFacts, which is definitely and certainly not drawn from the research of @mbarany, for tongue-in-cheek takes on these two disciplines. [See Michael Barany’s main account for more serious work on historical theories of mathematics.]
Math & Gender Studies: My work environment has continued to push my thinking around math and gender studies, or math education and feminism, as my colleague Georgina Emerson [@teachaboutwomen] alludes to here:
As in the above-tweet: Recommended readings are strongly desired! In the meantime, I’ve been threading a number of paragraph-pulls after Georgina, my history teacher colleague who founded Teach About Women, pointed me to work by Suzanne K Damarin. I hope I can interest you in taking a glance at some of these threads; below is a sample excerpt from yet another thread [about a math text inspired by work of Peggy McIntosh, Joan Countryman, and others] to whet your appetite:
What *is* that different mathematics that Shelley refers to in the excerpt above? Or what could it be?
A few bullet-pointed items, without commentary, at various intersections.
Math & Social Media: See Dave Richeson’s [@divbyzero] three part thread [click for more!]:
See also Ayesha Rascoe’s [@ayesharascoe] quantitative approach to (un)presidential tweets:
Math & Motherhood: This was the topic of a special issue in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics in July 2018 [JHM link]. See also: Francis Su [@mathyawp] tweeted out a link to Allison Henrich’s [@KnottyAllison] AMS Math-Mamas-blog post:
Math & the Prison System: See Darryl Yong’s [@dyong] blog post on working with students inside of a men’s prison:
As a closing note: Last week I highlighted some positive examples of sourcing practices, but also pointed out two instances in which there was a clear lack of proper attribution: two from @fermatslibrary and one more from @edutopia. I am happy to report that folks behind the scenes from both accounts contacted me, and have both recommitted to avoiding these omissions in the future [and moved to correct the ones that were pointed out].
As always, please reach out to me [DMs, email, @ me, etc] with any happenings in or around the world of mathematics education that you believe should be amplified!
Benjamin Dickman @benjamindickman