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Opinion: Antiracist math education adds up to better results for students

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Stephanie Yao Long/The Oregonian LC- The Oregonian The Oregonian Jennifer Ruef, Rebekah Elliott, and Eva Thanheiser

Ruef, who has a doctorate in mathematics education, is an assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Oregon. Elliott, who has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, is associate professor of mathematics education at Oregon State University. Thanheiser, who has a doctorate in mathematics education, is professor of mathematics education at Portland State University. All three teach educators how to teach math.

Historically, mathematics education has been a gatekeeper , sorting the proverbial rocket scientists from the masses. But humanity faces unprecedented challenges, and mathematical literacy is crucial to solving social and scientific problems. If we are to nourish every student as a problem solver, we must rethink whom we automatically deem “good at math” and how we teach it.

For decades, mathematics education research has defined equity as teaching mathematics effectively to every student. But if we are truly concerned with equity, it is clear that teaching strategies need to better reflect our changing world. As a society, we lose too many students – particularly students of color – when we expect students to learn in only one way. To […]

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