Ontario’s new Grade 9 curriculum preaches ‘subjective’ nature of mathematics

Dinette Wilford & Bryan Passifiume:

“Mathematics is often positioned as an objective and pure discipline,” reads a section of an online brief highlighting the ‘vision and goals’ of the updated curriculum.
“However, the content and the context in which it is taught, the mathematicians who are celebrated, and the importance that is placed upon mathematics by society are subjective.”

Math, it continues, has been “used to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledges,” and explains that taking a “decolonial” and “anti-racist approach” to teaching math will outline its “historical roots and social constructions” to students.

“The Ontario Grade 9 mathematics curriculum emphasizes the need to recognize and challenge systems of power and privilege, both inside and outside the classroom, in order to eliminate systemic barriers and to serve students belonging to groups that have been historically disadvantaged and underserved in mathematics education,” the brief continues.

Minister Lecce previously announced the new curriculum will bring early math streaming to an end, a practice he says created barriers for racialized and historically marginalized groups.

Teachers will be required to promote cross-curricular learning and human rights to create “anti-racist, anti-discriminatory learning environments.”