Skip to Content

Struggling with math. Photo supplied

Professor proposes Marxist math for social justice

Not everyone is good at mathematics, but now a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago has a plan to change that: Enter "critical mathematics" as in Marxist "critical theory".

Published: June 23, 2018, 8:50 am

    Campus Reform reported that Professor Eric Gutstein is encouraging the teaching of “math for social justice” to help fight the “oppressive status quo” in the United States.

    “The Struggle is Pedagogical: Learning To Teach Critical Mathematics” was penned by Gutstein, introducing a new textbook by stating that it was that high time for social justice math because of the “racist and sexist billionaire in the White House”.

    The link may not be very clear, but Gutstein forcefully argues that teaching “critical mathematics” is not an option for math teachers, but rather, a “responsibility to our future”.

    Gutstein taught a “math for social justice” class at the Social Justice High School in Chicago, before he joined UIC. “We are in an historical period that challenges us to action in ways that we probably cannot fully understand,” Gutstein says.

    “Teaching in critical ways is not optional in the present juncture. We have a responsibility to our future and our planet, to life and all species. What we do in the classroom matters, for today and tomorrow, and the myriad possibilities for resistance and transformation are inextricably and dialectically related to the intensity of the crises we face.”

    The “crisis” that Gutstein alludes to is the terrible performance of black students in math.

    Gutstein says that math teachers are not interested in “social justice pedagogies” to promote “revolutionary” and “radical” teachings.

    Traditional mathematics education, he complains, “is not sufficient and does not address many issues” necessary to “critical mathematics”.

    As co-author of the 2015 book Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by The Numbers, he asserts that math classes can help students to “deepen their understanding of important social issues, such as racism and sexism, as well as ecology and social class”.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Americas

    Senators from both US parties push for fresh sanctions against Russia

    WashingtonUS senators from both main parties are preparing additional sanctions against Russia, despite the Senate Intelligence Committee having uncovered no direct evidence of collusion between the President Trump's campaign and Russia.

    Russian meddling in US elections never happened

    WashingtonThe alleged Russian influence campaign - or meddling - in US elections never happened but was used to smear Russia and undermine the election of President Donald Trump.

    Italy’s Deputy FM urges EU to stop meddling in Venezuela

    RomeItalian Deputy Foreign Minister on Monday joined indignation expressed by Russia and China over efforts to meddle in crisis-hit Venezuela after the EU Parliament also voted, in a non-legislative resolution, to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of the oil-rich nation.

    Covington: Innocent white teenagers framed by hostile media

    WashingtonAmerican mainstream media reported this week that a group of white school children harassed a group of Native American, black and minority adults when footage of the interaction shows that the exact opposite happened.

    Brazil withdraws from UN Migration Compact

    BrasiliaNew Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the withdrawal from the UN Global Compact on Migration as he had promised to do earlier.

    US government shutdown could be bad for Israel

    WashingtonThe US government shutdown has continued for 18 days. Now defense contractors and lobbyists are starting to worry that it could be bad for Israel.

    US national defence hierarchy now run by women

    WashingtonThe United States' national defense hierarchy is, for the first time in history, largely run by women. According to mainstream MSNBC, women have taken over the US military-industrial complex.

    Facebook bans conservatives but fails to stop child exploitation apps

    Facebook monitors billions of posts per day in over 100 languages. The company’s solution is a network of ideologically-minded workers that ban content with the help of PowerPoint slides. That sadly does not include child porn on third-party apps.

    Columbia student defends his remarks about ‘white achievements’

    New YorkColumbia University student Julian von Abele, whose comments on Twitter about white people went viral earlier this week, released a statement on Tuesday defending himself.

    Chile pulls out of Marrakesch

    SantiagoChile has joined the growing exodus from the United Nations Migration Compact. It has become the latest country to withdraw, President's Sebastian Pinera's administration announced.

    Go to archive