What do you feel are some of the advantages and disadvantages to “becoming aware”, in other words, to develop critical awareness (or, what is referred to as a ‘critical consciousness’) about mathematics and mathematics education?
I believe that there are some of the disadvantages to developing critical awareness about mathematics and mathematics education. In Culturally Responsive Mathematics Education, it is said that “What social planners and educators must face is a meshing of a variety of cultural inputs: The ethnic or racial culture of the individual; the influence of the family; their community and neighbourhood (socioeconomic); the school; learning; the classroom; and the national society at large” (Greer, B., Mukhopadhyay, S., Powell, A.B., & Nelsen-Barber, S., 2009) I feel like one of the biggest issues with “becoming aware” is the fact that there are a lot of different cultures who’s mathematics you would need to include in the curriculum; that may become a major issue because if you leave out a culture then are you truly critically conscious? With the past being very much about the “right” way of doing things, I feel as though many teachers would have issues with parents who believe that notion of “the old way worked for me so why change it?”
I feel as though there are advantages to developing critical awareness about mathematics and mathematics education. Providing students with an opportunity to better themselves using their own cultural knowledge allows for students to feel a sense of pride in their work and really allows the students to relate to their assignments/school work. I believe giving students input into their education, by way of culture, allows them to strive for something higher than what they would achieve by doing things the old way. Our education system needs to change for the better and becoming more culturally responsive is a way to do that.
Greer, B., Mukhopadhyay, S., Powell, A.B., & Nelsen-Barber, S. (Eds.) (2009). Culturally
Responsive Mathematics Education. New York: Routledge.