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Too often, in K-12 classrooms, we find Che Guevara as an icon of progressive math education, claims about the alleged evil of Mercator’s projection maps on the wall, and students learning the time-consuming Mayan mathematics.
Most people think of mathematics as a non-ideological discipline. They consider it as an objective discipline, socially and politically neutral and independent of the society in which it is studied. But proponents of “critical math” in the United States don’t think so – they see math as an ideological battleground – and they are increasingly influential in schools of education and public classrooms from kindergarten to high school senior year.
Criticisms of mathematics by racial justice activists and ethnomathematicians have little to do with actual mathematics or the learning of mathematics and everything to do with undermining the discipline of mathematics in the name of social justice and racial equity and the fight against an ideologically designed “white privilege”. No real mathematician or scientist can be found who supports this doctrine of “critical” or “equity-based” mathematics. Rather, it is supported by professors in teacher training programs and by identity politics activists from various social disciplines.