Why teach boring old math when you can teach “social justice math.” Sol Stern writes in City Journal about a Brooklyn conference on “Math Education and Social Justice.â€
Prominently displayed on the official programâ€™s first page was a passage from Paulo Freire, the Brazilian Marxist educator and icon of the teaching-for-social-justice movement: â€œThere is no such thing as a neutral education process.â€
. . . At many of the conferenceâ€™s 28 workshops, math teachers proudly demonstrated how they used classroom projects to train students in seeing social problems from a radical anticapitalist perspective. At a plenary session, Professor Marilyn Frankenstein of the University of Massachusettsâ€™ math education department proclaimed that elementary school teachers should not use traditional math lessons, in which students calculate, say, the cost of food. Rather, the teachers should make clear that in a truly â€œjust society,â€ food would â€œbe as free as breathing the air.â€
New York Cityâ€™s Department of Education gave a grant to the conferenceâ€™s principal organizer, Jonathan Osler, founder of the RadicalMath web site.