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RE: math for reproduction and domination

Young children have often very well-developed senses of fairness (see Vivian
Paley's work), so I do think that the kind of thinking about privilege that
W-M Roth points to is not that far off for first graders. That it is obvious
that schooling in the US (and other places) is a very efficient sorting
mechanism and is less efficient at fostering meaningful learning that can be
transformative doesn't relieve educators and researchers of a responsibility
to try to change schooling and learning. There are important efforts at
addressing the kinds of issues Roth brings up in elementary grades by such
groups as Rethinking Schools, where content learning (math, science,
language arts, social studies) is grounded in problems facing marginalized
groups and communities, as well as Moll and colleagues' work on funds of
knowledge that recognize cultural practices of marginalized communities as
important resources for learning. 

I'm not arguing that bb's analysis has to include the cultural historical
analysis Roth wrote of, but I do appreciate the call to our discussion to
consider it... 

Nancy Ares
Assistant Professor
Teaching & Curriculum
The Warner Graduate School of Education
    and Human Development
University of Rochester
P.O. Box 270425
Rochester, NY 14627
fax 585-473-7598

> ----------
> From: 	Bill Barowy
> Reply To: 	xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Sent: 	Thursday, November 11, 2004 10:43 AM
> To: 	xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: 	math for reproduction and domination
> On Thursday 11 November 2004 10:22 am, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:
> > I was struck that in the entire discussion, there was no cultural
> > historical analysis of the situation in which children do these
> > mathematical things not because they are (considered) useful and its
> > outcomes have any relevance to anything but to the reproduction of a
> > society, where, as in the US, 15 to 20 percent of the population live
> > in poverty, and where education is used to systematically exclude parts
> > of the population to share in the wealth that is collectively produced.
> I don't think such an analysis is necessay, Michael.  I think it's obvious
> and 
> publications from such people as Bowles and Gintis hammer that point home.
> In first grade, this kind of thinking is a long ways off.  I'm not even
> sure 
> it's something one could do consistently in high school.  But if a student
> takes a course in marxist economics at Umass Amherst, or any other
> univeristy 
> for that matter, that point will be well addressed.
> -- 
> --------
> bb