How to dismantle white supremacy and bring antiracist teaching practices to the class

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Azagthoa
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Hi all,

I'm a maths teacher looking for help in dismantling white supremacy and bringing antiracist practices when teaching maths in the classroom. I'm following this guide (https://equitablemath.org/wp-content.../1_STRIDE1.pdf) in terms of teaching maths in a way that does not reinforce white supremacy such as teaching in a non-linear fashion, not requiring students to show their working and encouraging students not to see their errors are mistakes. Can anyone provide any further tips for making a classroom inclusive and equitable?

Many thanks.
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WassupLadz
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(Original post by Azagthoa)
Hi all,

I'm a maths teacher looking for help in dismantling white supremacy and bringing antiracist practices when teaching maths in the classroom. I'm following this guide (https://equitablemath.org/wp-content.../1_STRIDE1.pdf) in terms of teaching maths in a way that does not reinforce white supremacy such as teaching in a non-linear fashion, not requiring students to show their working and encouraging students not to see their errors are mistakes. Can anyone provide any further tips for making a classroom inclusive and equitable?

Many thanks.
I’m an A Level student, so I’m a bit concerned about the fact that people talk about race in the classroom. It shouldn’t even be a conversation, classrooms are for learning.

Secondly, not showing your working out, it’s a good try but will hurt them in the future. I’ve been one of those kids who felt too cool for working at a young age, but now it’s a must. I have offers from top universities to study Maths, I always show my working out, it shouldn’t be a headache, but seen as a guide to write down thoughts. It’s better they realise it earlier because GCSE maths gets hard and if they avoid working out, it could harm them. Especially those looking to pursue it further.

I think you should stop any race conversations in the classroom, and send kids out on the reason that they are distracting other kids.

If it’s something across the school then I feel it needs to be dealt on a larger level, suppressing it in class can only distract them further/ they’ll hate you more. Your first and foremost target should be teaching maths then subduing any race related conversations.
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laurawatt
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Not encouraging students to show their working creates ‘lazy’ students.
Ultimately (I’m assuming you’re going to teach secondary school classes) your lessons are to provide the knowledge so the students can pass their exams (and the exams want you to show working!)

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It’s important for the teacher to know what the students are thinking/thought process. That way they can answer and questions sufficiently and rectify any misconceptions.
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Fruli
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(Original post by Azagthoa)
Hi all,

I'm a maths teacher looking for help in dismantling white supremacy and bringing antiracist practices when teaching maths in the classroom. I'm following this guide (https://equitablemath.org/wp-content.../1_STRIDE1.pdf) in terms of teaching maths in a way that does not reinforce white supremacy such as teaching in a non-linear fashion, not requiring students to show their working and encouraging students not to see their errors are mistakes. Can anyone provide any further tips for making a classroom inclusive and equitable?

Many thanks.
As a black person, I would love to know how maths is racist?

I enjoyed learning it at school. I don't know where I would be in my life without maths and other basic forms of literacy.

Please tell me how maths is racist?
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MechanicalOnion
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I really did not know that there was white supremacy in mathematics. Maths is a universal language. Maths doesn't discriminate, something has wrong answers and correct answers.

If you stop urging your students to show their working, find their errors, and don't teach linearly won't make your classroom inclusive it just makes you a bad teacher. Further down the line your students will begin to suffer in more difficult maths based classes. Showing working out in maths should come naturally and it does to those who pursue it. I'm doing an engineering degree so maths is core. I rarely solve prohlems entirely mentally, I scribble down working on paper.

I often find simple mistakes in my working after reaching an incorrect answer, that way I can find what I did wrong which then helps me avoid making the same mistake again. This is how one learns.

Where white supremacy may show is in history or literature subjects. In the UK, albeit logically, there is a tendency to teach white history and white literature.

Maths isn't racist.
Last edited by 04MR17; 3 days ago
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Azagthoa
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A bit disappointed by the replies so far. Maths itself is not inherently racist but the western methods of teaching it are. All I am trying to do is make maths more equitable and inclusive for my BAME students. Obsession with perfection, worship of the written word and paternalism are things that are all related to whiteness and white supremacy and are abundant in maths teaching classrooms, so I am seeking to disrupt this.

Another idea I had is to provide extra lessons and space to study maths just for BAME students. This can be a space for healing for Black people to learn maths and other concepts whilst not in the company of white students - which can be exhausting. I'd provide snacks and juice for them and help them prepare for maths at university with STEP preparation and other morale boosting lessons.

Thanks.
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MechanicalOnion
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(Original post by Azagthoa)
A bit disappointed by the replies so far. Maths itself is not inherently racist but the western methods of teaching it are. All I am trying to do is make maths more equitable and inclusive for my BAME students. Obsession with perfection, worship of the written word and paternalism are things that are all related to whiteness and white supremacy and are abundant in maths teaching classrooms, so I am seeking to disrupt this.

Another idea I had is to provide extra lessons and space to study maths just for BAME students. This can be a space for healing for Black people to learn maths and other concepts whilst not in the company of white students - which can be exhausting. I'd provide snacks and juice for them and help them prepare for maths at university with STEP preparation and other morale boosting lessons.

Thanks.
In response to your second paragraph, you're proposing blatant segregation as a solution to white supremacy?
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Vapordave
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(Original post by Azagthoa)
A bit disappointed by the replies so far. Maths itself is not inherently racist but the western methods of teaching it are. All I am trying to do is make maths more equitable and inclusive for my BAME students. Obsession with perfection, worship of the written word and paternalism are things that are all related to whiteness and white supremacy and are abundant in maths teaching classrooms, so I am seeking to disrupt this.

Another idea I had is to provide extra lessons and space to study maths just for BAME students. This can be a space for healing for Black people to learn maths and other concepts whilst not in the company of white students - which can be exhausting. I'd provide snacks and juice for them and help them prepare for maths at university with STEP preparation and other morale boosting lessons.

Thanks.
I am black and this is borderline racist.
I do not appreciate reaches, factual or otherwise, being made to paint us as the eternal victims.
We are not infants (except the actual infants). We are intelligent, fully functional people who would solely like to be treated as equal and just as capable as people of other races who are comparable in ability and socioeconomically.
Please go talk to actual black people, without the white saviour complex.
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04MR17
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Volunteer note: Please be aware that this thread is in the careers section and is intended to support OP with their query. This is not a suitable forum to debate racism within schooling. Please be respectful to other TSR users when posting on the site, and let's all be mindful of the language we're using as well please.

If you want to discuss what is and is not guilty of racism within school, another thread within the Debate and Current Affairs section would be a more place to do this. If you have any further questions about TSR's moderation processes as well as policies concerning racism, start a thread here please.

Thank you
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04MR17
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(Original post by Azagthoa)
Hi all,

I'm a maths teacher looking for help in dismantling white supremacy and bringing antiracist practices when teaching maths in the classroom. I'm following this guide (https://equitablemath.org/wp-content.../1_STRIDE1.pdf) in terms of teaching maths in a way that does not reinforce white supremacy such as teaching in a non-linear fashion, not requiring students to show their working and encouraging students not to see their errors are mistakes. Can anyone provide any further tips for making a classroom inclusive and equitable?

Many thanks.
I'd caution against this PDF you've linked as it's primarily an American publication and it's not clear what research has been used to form the ideas within it - or the methodology behind any research that's been done. It's also deeply unclear whether it has been peer reviewed.

I would advise getting in touch with your head of department and/or line manager and ask if they know of any literature specific to Maths about inclusivity (this word might be better to use that bringing up language on white supremacy). You could also look into the journals from your subject association for Maths teaching in the UK - who may have some better literature on inclusivity, including in terms of race.

The other piece of advice I have would be to echo what others users have said about doing anything dramatic. Tread carefully. If you're making changes to your practice, don't make them obvious and don't make them drastic because if things backfire there's a long old journey to bring it back to your previous style of practice. Try things by all means, but try them carefully.
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