WTF, Anti racist Mathematics ?

I was googling for a hard calculus book to help me better understand Math when one thing led to another and I stumbled on various professors scholarly figures being upset about the dumbing down of Math/Physics so "other minority cultures don’t find the subjects difficult and making mathematics more intuitive and less abstract " .What the crap people,this anti-racist moving is creating a whirlpool that is sucking everything in it and destroying a lot in the process. While I do get the fact that many top universities will not give in to this kind of movement and their curriculums will stay nice and challenging I think this approach to creating STEM syllabuses so that ALL ethnic groups don’t find it challenging and are not scared by it kinda ridiculous. I strongly believe that shitty policies like this will actually make matters worse and create a wider gap than before.My note :

f you are intrigued by the whole concept of dumbing down mathematics courses so that all minorities can get an A ,I think googling the whole concept will be a better option since there is an abundance of the material over the internet.I read too much about this shitty policy to cite my understanding as my mind and what I wrote above is more of a hodgepodge of all the references.

Years ago I was teaching a Business Calculus class and had a (black) girl in my class who ultimately failed.

A week or so after the semester ended, I was walking across campus to my car when this girl approached me and said, “The only reason you failed me was that I’m black!”

I replied that the reason she failed was that she was lousy at calculus.

“Well, I’m going to take this to the provost!”

I told her that: a) nobody calls me a racist and gets away with it, and b) she was welcome to appeal it to anyone she wanted; I was ready with my gradebook.

It was the last I heard of the matter.

I, for one, don’t dumb down mathematics for anyone.

If you do a google search on " Anti racist mathematics "you will find there is a growing trend of policy makers who believe subjects such as these should be watered down .The sad truth is most of these "minorities " who feel stuck in mathematics are majoring in some hacksaw degree like child counseling or child education and don’t require mathematics .I am sure that places like MIT or Stanford still have very rigorous mathematics courses but you also have a better luck of finding a needle in a corn farm than finding minorities with crappy mindsets there.

Anyhow Which one should I choose Spivak or Apostol ?

You can’t “dumb down” mathmematics. You either learn the principles and concepts or you don’t. I would be worried if they were taking about adapting the standards as to how much you need to understand in order to say …calculus I… pass. This is not what I am getting here though. Making mathematics “more intuative and less abstact” does not necessarily mean watering down the content. It means adapting the way it is taught. I think those jumping to the conclutions that making mathematics more learnable for students with all qualities of educational background (not neccesarilly minorirty groups) will dumb down the content are making a poor assumption.

^You absolutely can IMO.I think 30% of calculus at least is about learning the concepts and the rest is about knowing how and when to apply those concepts which can be rather challenging sometimes as you have to invent/think of creative ways to tackle problems. By dumbing down mathematics the first step is to decrease the percentage of creativity/problem solving and increasing things like very mechanical approaches to problem-solving .The second step would be to lower the barrier of passing the courses so some "minorities " would feel at ease.

^^ you could be right. I would have to see what these new courses looked like. I was taking it as instead of thowing a lot of abstract text book proofs at students, they would take a more “physics lab” method of building up the concepts. Creative application of the concepts that were learned though this more “intuative and less abstract” way would still a huge part of mathematics. However, I might be mixing up what I see as a great solution to the problem of getting minorites in mathematics with what is actually happening.

lol at racism in math. You either get the number right or you get the number wrong.

It’s part of a larger trend – certain cultures selectively accept the findings of science, specifically they do not accept that differences exist between the genders and races, thus any difference in performance must be discrimination, thus “racist/sexist math”. LOL

And so market intervention happens, but humorously ends up being discrimination against whoever is naturally best (anti-Darwin).

Well yes, I think “racist math” is the wrong way to define this. It is really math that is intended for those with a lower quality educational backgroud. Unfortunantly this is often minority groups.

Also, I will respect the fact that there are difference is in gender (not supposed to think so between races, but I don’t have the data there). However, other than physiological differences in gender, the differences that may be present between genders or races would be slight. Any mass bias in perforance of one group over another can be assumed to be based on some sort of systemic unfairness. If that can be addressed without being dentrimental to the whole, then it should be.

^Do you believe this to be true in mental and physical pursuits? Do you believe American Asian’s success in academics and income is the result of systemic unfairness in regard to the rest of us? I would argue they succeed in spite of unfairness. Ever see how much more difficult it is for an Asian-American to get into an American med school than everyone else?

Thats a great example and good counter point. The root “systemic unfairness” I was thinking of is not really discrimination, but being at a disadvantage due to the cultural group you come out of. Some minority groups are victim to their own cultural vicious cycle of poor attitude, priorities, and role models. It is not impossible to break out of that cycle, but the odds of doing so are increased given a high quality educational system where confidence and ablity can be built up where it may be discouraged at home. American Asian culture is at the other end of that spectrum where the culture is highly focused on discipline and success.

This isn’t a minority vs. whites issue, IMO. Math is not taught in the best way. Some instantly take to the stylistic barriers to entry, and some don’t. Those that do become self-assured that they are naturally born for mathematics. Meanwhile, there are millions of perfectly capable math minds out there that never got a chance to know they were “good at math.” This isn’t a matter of whites and non-whites. There are plenty of white students who got smoked by all the bulls#!t in their intro math courses and have fallen out of the math skills game because they had crappy math teachers and lost confidence.

And by the way, Common Core is nonsense, in case you are confused by what I’m saying. I’m not an advocate. Rather, I’m talking about changing the approach to teaching the regular math we all know now.

Hmm, but I would say “the differences are slight” is an American cultural belief, not really based in science/observations. The discord between reality and cultural beliefs is the real problem.

For example “women only make 70% of what men make”. Okay, so what? That is to be expected given how we evolved; men work outside the cave, women inside/near the cave, both excel at their evolutionary niche. Men have testosterone, they are driven to work, they are less emotional, they have more IQ outliers, their intelligence is more analytical/strategic, and they don’t leave work to have babies. They have dominated nearly every field, for all of human history. We should expect at least the current “imbalance”.

But this topic makes people uncomfortable. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news humans, I’m really quite a nice person!

An indicator that trumps all others is whether a child is born into a two parent home. Interesting that our government has policies that have neutered the family unit, epically in black communities. Compare the 1950s to now. Just a coincidence that the growth of entitlements tracks the decline of the black family unit perfectly? Was the destruction intentional?

Probably, destroying the family unit maximizes profit, and decreases resistance.

I’d never thought about how it impacts performance, negatively I would guess!! Though the family unit wasn’t really selectively destroyed by race, it seems pretty much everyone got screwed. Profits were maximized though, woo hoo!

^Wow. Up until the last post, I found myself agreeing with Purealpha and disagreeing with KMD. That never happened before.

Have it your way. Women and men should stick to what they are predestined to do based on innate ability. OK! I’ll be taking your job then :slight_smile:

being cute aside, I will stop my argument here as I am now going into opinion territory as I have not collected actual data to back up my beliefs that much the inequality has it’s basis in cultural foundations, not actual phyiscal differences in race or gender. I believe the imbalance seen today is greater than what would be present in the scenario where everyone truly has the best environment to make the most of themselves.


exactly what I was trying to say

Exactlly! I had never thought about this specifically, but it could certainly be true. Lots of reasons why it might be.

The data is clear. The gender stereotype that women are less confident than men - or, as Belsky says, “that women are less overconfident than men” - is, for once, a useful trait. There is a strong argument that women, by their very nature , do indeed make better traders and better returns.