Alta wrote in today to remind us that public education in her country of South Africa is given to “de-colonising maths.” In order to “transform society,” y’see–although I don’t know who asked for it to be transformed. Well, they’re doing it here, too. After all, college can’t finish its job on the students’ brains unless they’ve first been pretty well worked over by the public schools. First mash it, then shape it.
To this end, we have PC puke like “culturally relevant math lessons” devised by condescending white liberals (https://blog.learningbird.com/decolonizing-math-creating-culturally-relevant-math-lessons/)… and if I follow this sentence to its logical conclusion, I’ll get in trouble. Feel free to fill in the blanks.
But you see, Ms. Liberal $Educator explains, mathematics has to be “de-colonized”–Lord, give me strength–because “Many of the elements of western math instruction don’t necessarily aligned with the principles of indigenous learning,” whatever the devil that is. But isn’t it sweet of her to stoop down to the “indigenous” level, because those poor folks just aren’t able to learn white man’s math?
Math is about bridges not falling down after you build them, and buildings going up straight instead of crooked so that they don’t fall down, either, and not running out of food or other necessities because you don’t know how to do a budget. Math is about things being done right.
That’s what I didn’t like about math, when I was a punk kid. There was always only one right answer, and I couldn’t schmooze my way past it. Oddly enough, that’s what I’ve come to love about math: right answers are hard to come by in this world, outside of the Bible.