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Friday, November 5 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
101: From Oakland to Wakanda: Transforming Mathematics Classrooms to Become Equitable and Empowering Spaces for Black and Brown Students

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In this talk, we will use the context of the Marvel Movie Black Panther and our pedagogical imaginations to consider how we might transform mathematics classrooms to become equitable and empowering spaces for Black and Brown students. Leveraging the context of Wakanda this talk connects features of Wakanda to high quality mathematics teaching and learning. Strategies include connecting math tasks to problems of social justice, valuing and making space for students’ cultural identities and interests, and the use of “rough draft talk”.

This presentation will draw on particular moments from the Black Panther movie to illustrate the use of mathematics for solving real world problems, building one’s community, addressing problems of social justice, and more. In particular, the character’s problem-solving skills and integration of technology (i.e. Vibranium), engineering (i.e. kinetic energy in the Black Panther suit), and science (i.e. force, motion) along with mathematics will be central in this presentation. The goal of this presentation is to connect a recently popular movie as a context for exploring what math classrooms might look like in Wakanda. This “pedagogical imagining” of a non-colonized classroom provides space for participants to “see” beyond incremental changes to consider how math classrooms can be re-designed to empower students. Namely, teaching practices that value and include students’ cultural identities and those promoting equity and justice seem central in Wakandan classrooms.


Friday November 5, 2021 1:30pm - 3:00pm PDT
PSCC, Primrose A