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Singapore Math

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Is a Pythagorean Ban or Bill in the Pipeline?

Is the above geometry question a “trick” question to check whether the “anti-woke” curriculum censors in some red states are awake or not?

Or just pro-Disney critics trying to poke fun at some pro-DeSantis “math specialists” (or ultra-MAGA patriots and puritan parents), who’re hell-bent to ban any deemed questionable or objectionable math questions that could potentially add unnecessary stress to math-anxious students and their parents?

If a poem promoting national or racial unity could “cause confusion and indoctrinate students,” a nonroutine math question from an alien or foreign source might also inflict twice as much psychological harm to the self-esteem (or mental health) of students who’re not born or blessed with the “mathematical gene.”

In the name of mathematical wokeism, what would qualify as a “worst [math] question”? One that could lead to a temporary mental blackout or a three-second-long stroke?

Or one that would trigger common symptoms like faster heartbeat, sweaty palms, and dry throat, which unspokenly affect all of us to a certain degree, when faced with a time-based brain-unfriendly or fiendish math question?

Should polarized politics or racial puritanism be allowed to triumph over mathematical problem solving and critical thinking? When “holy votes” from a significant proportion of the population dictate the direction of math education, curricular or educational decisions that would benefit the nation would be rarer than perfect numbers.

Questionably & critically yours

© Yan Kow Cheong, June 4, 2023.