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« Sometimes a Banana is Just a Smoke | Main | The Face of the Victim »

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Kevin Baker

Thanks for the links, and the compliments!


Mystery of multicultural math revealed (via

Test your level of indoctrination:

Multicultural Mathematics Survey

The purpose of this survey is to gather data regarding your conceptions, ideas, and knowledge related to multicultural mathematics. Please respond to all items.


1. Mathematics is a culture-free discipline. 1 2 3 4

2. Black History Month is the best time to teach multicultural mathematics. 1 2 3 4

3. Multicultural mathematics is important for students whose first language is not English. 1 2 3 4

4. Multicultural mathematics is important for all students. 1 2 3 4

5. I plan to include multicultural aspects when 1 2 3 4 teaching mathematics.

6. Multicultural mathematics focuses on the mathematical contributions of minorities. 1 2 3 4

7. Multicultural mathematics is a good enrichment activity. 1 2 3 4

8. When teaching multicultural mathematics, all cultures represented in the classroom should be included. 1 2 3 4

9. Focus on multiculturalism in mathematics is not necessary for good mathematics teaching. 1 2 3 4

10. I am already prepared to deal with multiculturalism in my teaching. 1 2 3 4

11. Teaching multicultural mathematics is probably the same as teaching the history of mathematics. 1 2 3 4

12. Teaching mathematics from a cultural perspective will not prepare students for standardized testing. 1 2 3 4

13. Define mathematics.

14. Define multiculturalism.

15. What do you expect to learn in this course?

16. Do you have concerns about teaching mathematics to children from various cultures? If so, what are they? If not, how did you develop your confidence?

17. What is one significant thing you remember about your early mathematics learning?


The situation in Newton shows how easy it is for schools to screw the poor—all they need to do is name the program Anti-racism. Well-educated, affluent parents will circumvent (to some degree) this district’s abdication of its duty to teach math: by teaching their kids at home, taking them to Sylvan Learning Center and Kumon Math (probably huge in Newton) and hiring private tutors. These kids will be provided with enough math to gain entry to higher education, whereas those with fewer advantages—disproportionately black and Hispanic—will be left in the dust. The article says only that scores have declined, but you can bet the decline is most pronounced among the free- and reduced-price-lunch crowd.

Adrian, the link you provided scared me. Reading further down this syllabus, I found the professor’s list of behaviors that would “lead to a deduction in your final grade” including: “exhibiting a challenging, arrogant, or insolent manner.” Though I will attend a different ed school, I think mine’s about average. I want to get good grades, but I can’t imagine letting harmful indoctrination go unchallenged, especially having 12 years’ teaching experience to bring to the discussion. How about “expressing challenging views in an impeccably polite manner?” Will I still get docked? Maybe I’ll skip ed school and just keep reading Plum.


Correction: the link I referred to was posted by Instructivist, not Adrian. Sorry.


Things That (Most)Ed Perfessers Consider “exhibiting a challenging, arrogant, or insolent manner.”

1. "Bwaaaaa haaaa haaa!"

2. "Oh, sure! Uh huh. Yeah. Right."

3. "Sponge Bob."

4. "Cough cough. "Hrshit!"

5. "You got any data to support that delusional statement?"

6. "You're insane."

7. "I once thought the same thing. But I was on acid."

8. "Where's the white rabbit?"

9. "Here we go down the rabbit hole!"

10."I've had zits that made more sense."

11."Are you the FOURTH Stooge? I'm just askin'"

12. "Wow. Now say something even MORE idiotic! Go ahead. I'll wait."

13. "Another cheap degree!"

14. "A new psychodiagnostic category! Chronic Undifferentiated Dumbass Syndrome."

15. "Ring ring ring.... Reality calling. Sez it's for YOU!"

16. "Get the strait jacket, Louie."

17. "Squarepants!"

18. "I'm calling the cops!"

19. "Uh, oh! Thar she blows! Get the harpoon!"

20. "Want some pie with that bull$#@!?"

21. "Watch out! He's in free fall!!"

22. "The mind is a terrible thing to lose. That applies to persons who HAD a mind. Which pretty much leaves you out."

23. "The Ship of Fools leaves in five minutes....Here's a complimentary ticket."

24. "Dang! Cough cough. I left home without my gas mask."

25. "Oh, Lord! I've gone to hell!"


Plum, it looked at first as if you were replying to the Multicultural Math Survey posted by instructivist. It's about as good a set of answers as a brain-carrying beings can give.

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