The course is one of the school district's efforts to improve culturally responsive education. The term means making curriculum and instruction more diverse, so minority students can better understand their academic heritage, feel comfortable in the classroom and be motivated to learn.
District officials and policy advocates said culturally responsive education is a break with European-centered education and an incorporation of the various racial, ethnic and social perspectives that shape a discipline.
Pardon the pun, but color me unimpressed.
Another upcoming initiative, funded by The Heinz Endowments, will involve the use of African art to teach such subjects as math and social studies. The pilot project will begin at selected schools next fall.
Not to be flippant here, but has any achievement in mathematics ever come about via the use of African art?
At best the above is feel-good pablum, and that's at best. It's far more likely to be the soft bigotry of low expectations, among other forms of bigotry. It's been said on this blog more than once: students need to achieve and be proud of their own achievements, not take pseudo-pride in the achievements of others who share their skin color. And let's not forget this gem:
But isn't this a twist on the pseudo-science of old, which claimed that efforts to educate blacks would be fruitless because their capacity to learn was different from that of whites? Why is this argument acceptable today simply because it is being advanced by minority "multiculturalists"? The view that blacks and whites somehow interpret learning differently is -- in part -- a holdover from the silly debates surrounding "ebonics" that raged throughout the 1990s and that continue to handicap discussions of urban education to this very day.
And in a post on so-called ethnomathematics I quoted:
The purveyors of victimology (oh, the white man isn't culturally responsive to the needs of anyone who isn't a white man) just keep on trying, don't they?
Young people need to be shown that they need to accomplish something in their own lives and be proud of that, not to be proud by dubious association with a group hundreds of years and thousands of miles removed from them.