Math is NOT about white privilege but intellectual skill

Truly, liberals and progressives are trying to turn the western world upside down by claiming that just about everything we do is socially constructed. Intellectual relativism.

Never mind your gender. Never mind your race. Never mind your natural intellectual strengths and weaknesses. You can change anything you want.

Now we have Professor Rochelle Gutierrez claiming that if you have a preference for studying or teaching math, you are displaying, not only your white privilege, but your “unearned” white privilege.

What absolute anti-intellectual, racist and politically correct nonsense!

Yes, many of the early mathematicians were white. So what? Many of the great writers of literature were also white. But, that is ignoring the reality that all cultures have intellectual giants, including from such countries as Africa, India, Japan and China.

In my opinion and experience, being good at math is not socially constructed or subjective relativism. It is about doing whatever is necessary to acquire the skills needed to work in the math field or to teach it.

In other words, you can’t leave out intellectual ability, motivation and perseverance. Those abilities and traits come from within. Yes, someone evaluating whether someone else is working hard is subjective, but working hard itself is not. In fact, in the field of education, having the ability in a subject, but not working hard is called “underachieving.”

Yet, Gutierrez says knowledge is relational and subjective,  that it cannot be known objectively. Good grief! It is as though Gutierrez looks only at what goes on around her and completely ignores what goes on in her head. In other words, she is completely ignoring her own intellectual abilities and the strenuous effort she put in to get where she is today.

Look, I am a learning specialist and have a Ph.D in the field. While I was in private practice in the late 80s, 90s and 2000s, I administered psycho-educational tests on a regular basis. The results of those tests were both factual and objective.

Anyway, let’s stop beating around the bush and call this so-called Gutierrez theory what it is — a racist attack against whites. Just change the skill and context — “that teaching basket ball skills perpetuates black privilege” — and you will get my point

People would be furious if Gutierrez made that claim because we all know that some people are better than others at sports and those reasons do not, or should not, include race. In basketball, for example,”the height of the player,” “his or her speed of movement” and “quick thinking” should be more important than race. Similarly with figure skating, bicycle racing or football. In each case, a different kind of physical and intellectual set of skills is required.

The crux of the matter is that there are physical and intellectual realities that progressives like Gutierrez ignore in their rush to condemn all things white, including her racist claim that acquiring math skills perpetuates “unearned” white privilege.

Pashler study claims learning style models lack validity

The politics of research

Be wary of the way researchers present their conclusions as they are always political. Here, for example is an excellent YouTube presentation on the various types of research design and the paradigms they represent, as well as a related print source.

In the traditional corner, you have the quantitative experts, or what some would refer to as true scientific inquiry. They tend to assume that only experimental objectives and value free assumptions have practical utility as only those methods are able to answer “what” questions.

In the other corner, what I will refer to as the progressive corner,  you have the qualitative experts. They prefer questions that result in “understanding” and answers to questions that ask “why” and “how.” For example, qualitative or action researchers might want to understand how a student’s environment and cultural diversity impact on the way they learn — their learning styles — and thus their academic outcomes.  

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