Ford defends removing language on racism from math curriculum introduction

TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford defends removing racism and colonialism from introduction to his government’s new math curriculum, saying these subjects should be addressed in other classes.

TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford defends removing racism and colonialism from introduction to his government’s new math curriculum, saying these subjects should be addressed in other classes.

Ford introduced the new curriculum after years of falling scores on standardized tests, and he said it was important to “get back to the basics” and teach finance and programming skills.

“In math, we’re sticking to math,” said Ford on Thursday. “Other social issues, let’s talk about it, there’s no doubt about it, but let’s not talk about it in math. Let’s talk about it in other courses that the schools offer.”

The government has not confirmed when the changes were made, but they appear to have followed the release of new media reports criticizing a section that referred to the content, context and meaning of the math as subjective.

It stated: “Mathematics has been used to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledge, and a decolonial, anti-racist approach to math teaching reveals its historical roots and social constructions.”

This section has been removed from the preamble to the curriculum, as has the mention of “anti-racist and anti-depressive teaching and learning opportunities” and “colonial contexts of modern mathematics teaching”.

The NDP has criticized the changes, saying that schools need more justice and anti-racism lens, not less.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 15, 2021.

The Canadian press

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