This Week at Global Math – 6/2/2020


Edited By Chase Orton  @mathgeek76

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Online Professional Development Sessions


Revolution is Needed in High School Geometry

Presented by Dr. Jenny Tsankova

Dr. Jenny Tsankova will present an argument in favor of changing the way we communicate to students the following essential ideas: 1) the idea of proof, 2) the language of Geometry, and 3) the traditional topics we teach, such as constructing the perpendicular bisector. The goal is for the mathematical ideas to be accessible to all students, connected to other mathematical ideas, and embedded in relevant context without sacrificing the cognitive demand.

To join us at 9:00 PM EST for this webinar click here!

Next Week 

Global Mathematics: An Elective Mathematics Class for ALL Students

Presented by Dave Ebert

This session will describe how one school created an elective course, Global Mathematics, that helps students understand and critique the world while also experiencing wonder, joy, and beauty. This course engages students at every ability level through the study of the history of mathematics and the usefulness of mathematics to address global, regional, and local issues.

Register ahead of time by clicking here!

You can always check out past and upcoming Global Math Department webinars. Click here for the archives or get the webinars in podcast form!

From the World of Math Ed

Closing Thoughts without Closure

This is my last Global Math Department newsletter contribution for the 2019-2020 academic year, which is wrapping up in much of the United States. I’m proud of the newsletters I’ve written this year, and ways in which I have been more involved at GMD (including managing the Twitter account since April 22). To this end, I want to shout out all the GMD contributors – past and present – as all work has been foundational to pushing further forward in thought and action.

Four closing items, which I will briefly name so that you can read, scroll, or avoid as desired:

  1. Nepantla Teachers Community posts;
  2. Opposition to proposed anti-Chinese legislation that targets graduate students in STEM;
  3. Seattle Public Schools and the continued pushback against their wonderful Ethnic Studies Framework;
  4. Three online happenings over the summer.

First, check out the Student Voices in Remote Learning series from the Nepantla Teachers Community.

See also their Statement of Solidarity with Communities of Color:

Pay attention to which organizations and institutions are speaking out at this time — and which ones aren’t — and be sure to hold them accountable. In this sense, the Global Math Department, followed by over five thousand math educators, cannot be seen as exempt, even as it has not issued analogous statements in the past. Look out for something to come from GMD, and hold us accountable thereafter!

Second, note the beginning of public-facing political stances taken by GMD in the following tweet about Sinophobic, xenophobic, and racist legislation proposed around Chinese graduate students working in STEM:

Third, be sure to read Shraddha Shirude’s post borne from the continued pushback against the Great Work done on Seattle’s Ethnic Studies Framework, as well as related tweets from Xi Yu and others.

Fourth, and finally, this is shaping up to be a summer in which we need to strengthen ourselves. For some, this means digitally disconnecting after too many Zoom calls, too many emails, too many videos that autoplay without trigger warnings, and, more generally, too much of too much. Do not burn yourself out!

For others and/or at other times, there are a number of webinars, conferences, seminars, and various forms of professional development (so to speak) that may reinvigorate. To mention just three:

Even without upcoming newsletters, I can be pinged (on Twitter or otherwise) if there is something in or adjacent to the worlds of mathematics education that you believe should be amplified. I’ve recently been thinking about math trails (related thoughts very welcome!) and will likely be on the grid for most of the summer.

And, in case you haven’t heard/read it recently enough: Black Lives Matter.

– Benjamin Dickman [@benjamindickman]

Moving the #MTBOS toward Anti-Racism

The murder of George Floyd served as a tipping point for many in the nation struggling to process the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaudd Arbery. These three murders involved three different people in three different parts of the country. One constant in all of these cases was a response from police and the criminal justice system which implied that their lives did not matter.  

As we look for ways to move forward, all of us in the #MTBoS and #iteachmath community need to engage in anti-racist discourse and actions. This will be a challenge for our group of largely white educators. The following tweets may be helpful resources for white educators in our community looking for more actionable steps to further this anti-racist discourse. 

Symbolic actions such as officers Portland Police taking a knee with protestors deliver hope that we can bridge our racial divisions, but it’s only a first step. (Check out Julie Wright’s, @julierwright, retweet of the video.) Likewise, our actions in this moment must be followed by sustained efforts to dismantle racist policies and practices at our schools and in our math classrooms.
-Carl Oliver @carloliwitter

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