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MATH: Math and Social Justice

Intro to the Course

This course will encourage students to explore issues of equity and justice through a mathematical lens. We will discuss our intersecting identities, learn to question our assumptions, and think critically about how bias influences the presentation of information. Students will then work with the instructor to design and complete mathematical analyses of social issues that interest them. The specific topics and mathematical tools used by an individual will depend on that student’s interests and knowledge. For example, one student might use geometry to investigate gerrymandering, while another might use calculus to analyze mass incarceration.

We will begin the year with the three big ideas outlined in the course description: discussing intersectionality, questioning assumptions, and thinking critically about bias in presentation of information. We’ll model an inquiry into the presentation of information, use some of the technologies available to us in such a task, and practice effective presentation and reflection skills. Every student will have a blog (via Google Sites or Pages in Schoology, more on this to come); at some point every student will do a pecha kucha or 20 x20 presentation (more on this to come as well).

The second “unit of inquiry” will be designed by individual students in conversation with me. We will use one class meeting per week for individual conferences and one for regular presentations of work in progress.