EXCLUSIVE: Scholars push for DEI at mathematics education conference

At a recent mathematics education conference, scholars pushed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda.

Campus Reform obtained exclusive audio and images from the meeting.

At a recent mathematics education conference in Nashville, Tennessee, scholars pushed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda. Campus Reform obtained exclusive audio and images from the meeting.

The conference was the 44th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, held from Nov. 17 - Nov. 20. 

An entire section of the academic gathering was dedicated to “Equity and Justice” in mathematics education.

Papers presented under this heading included “Leveraging Equity and Civic Empathy through Community-Based Mathematical Modeling,” “Discourses of Justice,” “Equitable Teaching Practices: Developing Emergent Bilinguals’ Positive Mathematical Identities,” and “Whiteness in Fearmongering Towards Mathematics Education Reform.”

In one image, a presentation slide can be seen with the term “Equipartitioning,” giving an example of a practice problem involving equitably distributing sandwiches brought on a field trip.

In others, it is claimed that many mathematics standards “create toxic spaces for historically marginalized students and are violent toward them,” going on to quote “Queen Angela Davis.”

Another presentation slide encourages “disrupting ‘traditional mathematics teaching and learning,” 

One of the speakers delivered a presentation on her paper titled “Learning Trajectories Research Needs a Hard Re-Set” in which she argues that the “reset” can “only be achieved if our community adopts a critical stance that centers equity.” 

Campus Reform obtained an audio file of the speaker’s presentation. 

After introducing her paper, the speaker, identified by Campus Reform as Dr. Marrielle Myers of Kennesaw State University, stated that “...anytime I speak I am always engaging as a black girl. I’m engaging as a black girl who was talkative and social and energetic and as so was labeled disruptive and bossy and denied access to gifted programs in elementary school.” 

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Myers also discussed “ableism” in her presentation by posing a question to attendees, asking “How can I create tasks that are not ableist? So when you look at a lot of the supersizing work, a lot of it is that oh, because everybody has two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, and those are the types of things that are kind of built in.”

Myers’ paper also claims that teachers and schools are under some of the most vicious attacks in recent years. 

It posits that red states such as Texas, Georgia, and Florida are continuing to “compete in a ‘race for the bottom’ as they seek to define and ban ‘divisive topics,’ create anti-woke laws, ban books, whitewash this nation’s history, and further marginalize students who identify as LGBTQIA+ by developing policies intended to destroy their safety.”  

The paper continues further to victimize teachers by claiming that they are exhausted by the attacks, pandemics, and are being both sued and humiliated. 

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Another unidentified speaker, audio of which was also obtained by Campus Reform, defined “equity” in education in part as “promoting critical social justice perspectives.”

The convention was held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville and was sponsored by multiple departments of Middle Tennessee State University. These include the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Department of Mathematical Sciences, the College of Education, and the Mathematics and Science Education Doctoral Program. 

Campus Reform contacted every university and individual mentioned. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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