Does 2+2=4? If you answered yes, you would benefit greatly from Ontario’s Equitable, and Inclusive Education in Mathematics. The program takes a prioritized focus on Human Rights: something long overdue in the Eurocentric and heteronormative field of mathematics.
The government of Ontario has correctly identified that students who are indigenous, or Black, by nature of their indisputable biology, or LGBTQ+ identifying students who experience disputable biology continue to be oppressed by systemic barriers to learning Eurocentric mathematics.
The Government of Ontario concludes that systemic barriers such as racism and discrimination* have led to severe trauma and inequitable outcomes later in life.
Students who identify as engineers have faced tremendous pressure to prove competency in the Eurocentric principles of maths. Further, many have encountered bigoted behaviour such as being demanded to provide proof of a degree in Engineering from a colonial and patriarchal institution like a University or College. It is deeply concerning to see such discriminatory practices normalized in these institutions. Unfortunately these places have become well-known bastions of right-wing extremism.
To combat the accepted (but unacceptable) pedagogical approach to maths, self-described researcher and activist T’t’alia Wallace (xe/xer) founded the Bold Identity Participation Outspoken Co-op (B.I.P.O.C.).
The B.I.P.O.Co-op was funded by an anti-racist grant from the Canadian Federal Government which selects people based on skin colour.
B.I.P.O.C. is founded on an epistemological view that is informed by students’ authentic lived experiences culminating in other ways of knowing maths.
Xe is a valued and outspoken contributor to the new curriculum and is happy xer tweets to Premiere Doug Ford have led to meaningful changes to the curriculum. Xer solutions involve building on a student’s “identities, lived experience and linguistic resources”**. Xe sees more work to be done however as the curriculum does not accommodate, or even address, those who identify as animalkin: a grossly marginalized group that operates freely from restrictive frameworks such as linguistics and integers.
T’t’alia’s B.I.P.O.C. has formed a team of engineers who either recently graduated the new curriculum or identify as having done so.
Today The Woke & Mail was proud to attend the grand opening of B.I.P.O.C.’s first engineering success on the traditional and ancestral home of the Magnetawan people in the colonial Parry Sound District. The Inikah bridge promises to be a landmark monument to the tireless work of those fighting for social change in Canada.
T’t’alia hopes that successes such as these will encourage others to see the benefit of non-eurocentric, culturally responsive, and relevant pedagogies (CRRP) in mathematics and recognize that a mathematics curriculum is most effective when it values and honours the diversity that exists among students.
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