Liberation Math


network (Photo credit: sjcockell)

In a few weeks, I will start teaching a course at Lesley University called Liberation Mathematics, and I want all of you to come along. Liberation Math will e research collective as much as it is an actual class. We’ll be using critical pedagogy and a method of feminist research called memory-work to study the group’s own mathematical memories, identities, and learning. We’ll combining these powerful methods for collective self-examination with lessons from relational-cultural theory, story-editing  approaches which allow people to authentically develop growth mindsets, and mathematical problem solving so that we can examine their mathematical identities and place them in a cultural context while simultaneously developing mathematical skills. This is a course for people who hate mathematics, but want to get beyond that hate to something a little more nuanced and useful. It’s a course for people who love mathematics, but want to take a critical look at math and its place in our culture and our schools. By May, we will together have produced a substantial body of research on our mathematical memories and identities, which will then be compiled into an electronic book.

I really do want you to join us. Each week, we’ll having readings a short video and opportunities respond, put new ideas out there, and disrupt old ideas. We’ll do a lot of navel-gazing and theorizing, but we’ll do math as well. It’s OK to be afraid of the math, to avoid it, and to struggle with it. All of our wrestling will feed back into our introspection about math in our lives and math in the wider world.

If you are interested, I’d love to have you. Leave a comment below so I know you are interested, or tweet me at @faroop. To participate, you’ll need to have some way of getting your thoughts out on the internet — twitter, youtube, blogs, you name it. We’ll be tagging everything with the hashtag #liberationmath and the students in the in-person course will be curating the content and putting discussions out for everyone here. What do you think?


4 thoughts on “Liberation Math

  1. jo(e) says:

    That sounds great. I’m doing something a bit similar with my students — except their project will be to investigate place-based environmental issues. Anyhow, I’d like to give my students the hashtag and have them check out what your students are doing.

    (I’m Janine DeBaise @writingasjoe on twitter)

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