Social Justice Math


Campus Reform reports that a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago has contributed a chapter to a new textbook arguing that math teachers “have a responsibility” to adopt “social justice pedagogies.”

I have a bad feeling about that.

‘You are a slow learner, Winston,’ said O’Brien gently.

‘How can I help it?’ he blubbered. ‘How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.’

‘Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.’

7 thoughts on “Social Justice Math

  1. Saw the other day a comment I hope was satirical: “The theory of evolution is so heteronormative. When will scientists come up with something inclusive?!”

  2. The History of Teaching Mathematics

    1950 – A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

    1960 – A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

    1970 – A logger exchanges a set “L” of lumber for set “M” of money. The Cardinality of Set “M” is 100. Each element is worth $1. Make 100 dots represent the elements of the set “M,” The set “C,” the cost of production, contains 20 fewer points than set “M.” Represent the set “C” as a subset of Set “M” and answer the following question: What is the Cardinality of the set “P” of profit?

    1980 – A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: underline the number 20.

    1990 – By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this wy of earning a living? Topic for class discussion: how do the birds and squirrels feel as the loggers cut down their homes in the trees? There are no wrong answers.

    2002 – A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit is $60?

    2010 – Un leñador vende una carretada de madera por $100. El costo de producciòn es…

    2018 – A hateful, anti-sustainability logger dies when his chainsaw snaps back while trying to fell a tree that has been spiked by deeply caring enviromental freedom fighters. When the freedom fighters sue the logging company for the pain and emotional loss they suffered when they snuffed out the life of the logger, how many millions of dollars should the jury award them?

  3. 2 and 2 are 4. If the math doesn’t match reality, you’re using an equation that deviates too much from reality. It isn’t because 2 can mean different things.

    The left deviates too much from reality. They need 2 and 2 to be five. And even if it isn’t, they at least need everyone to pretend that it is, hoping that if you believe hard enough, math will break.

    • Yep. Math doesn’t care about your feelings.
      The bridge you’re designing will either stand or fall based on the quality of your math, not your feelings about it.

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