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Teachers Combine Math With Social Justice Lessons

Ben Velderman at EAGnews.org reported Monday on a 286-page book aimed at K-12 educators called “Rethinking Mathematics,” which explains how to teach kids math with social justice lessons.

“The book is a mix of math lesson plans and essays from activist educators who explain how they’ve used their classrooms to advance a progressive political philosophy,” Velderman wrote.

How does something like that work, you ask? Instead of Suzy having five apples, and she eats two, how many does she have left? – it goes a little something like this:

In a chapter titled, “Write the Truth: Presidents and Slaves,” “Rethinking” editor and Milwaukee teachers union President Bob Peterson explains how he used Freire’s approach with his fifth-grade students:

“Specific objectives for this mini-unit (about slave-owning U.S. presidents), such as reviewing the use of percentages, emerged as the lessons unfolded. But its main purpose was to help students critically examine the actions of early leaders of the United States and become skeptical of textbooks and government websites as sources that present the entire picture.

“I figure that if kids start questioning the ‘official story’ early on, they will be more open to alternative viewpoints later on. While discovering which presidents were slave owners is not an in-depth analysis, it pokes an important hole in the godlike mystique that surrounds the ‘founding fathers.’”

… In another chapter, geometry teacher Andrew Brantlinger chronicles how he turned an ordinary lesson about calculating the area of a circle into an analysis of the South Central Los Angeles community that rioted after the 1992 “Rodney King” verdict.

During Brantlinger’s lesson, students learned that in 1992, South Central L.A. had no movie theaters or community centers, but it had 640 liquor stores. That led one student to conclude, “All they want them to do is drink.”

…“Rethinking Mathematics” is filled with similar anecdotes, all of which suggest activist teachers are transforming an untold number of our students into future “change agents.”

There are plenty more egregious examples. K-12 schools (and colleges) have become indoctrination camps, and they don’t even hide it, they flaunt it.

“In their introduction, editors … acknowledge that some school administrators and parents won’t like this radical approach to math education but they advise social justice teachers to make no apologies for their efforts,” Velderman wrote.

Read the full story.

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