# Math Education Lives In A Toxic Bubble of Denial and Disinformation

The institution of education has always lived in a bubble of its own self-congratulating importance.

All the while being historically impervious to any observations of the collective harm it does with respect to destroying innate curiosity for learning with its factory-themed approach to learning to maintain social order.

That position should have been weakened considerably with the birth of the internet, and the democratization of information/knowledge.

Nope.

The following are images from Rachel Botsman regarding about the shift of trust during the age of social media, and how institutional trust has fallen across the board — education, media, political, and religious.

The institution of education is just now a orchestrated Ponzi scheme, to peddle anything which is fashionable and attracts money. Even the measurement of “success” is carried about by the gatekeepers of this 20th century model of painful anachronisms.

Sitting and nested all too comfortably in all of this is mathematics education — a mere subset of the negligence and harm found in general education.

If anything, mathematics education — unlike any other subject — has caused harm. Students may not like science, geography, history, or English, but I doubt there has been a long history of something called “geography anxiety”.

Throw in a mathematics curriculum which has all the excitement of a cheese sandwich with incessant testing, competitive culture, and the current cult of pedagogy tilted towards proficiency and compliance, and you have to be in utter amazement how math education conducts itself — oblivious to it all.

That’s because mathematics education was never going to be first for students, it had to be, just like education in general, for the bureaucratic machinery.

You want to know how bad it is in mathematics education? Every other subject teacher probably has a deep interest in the content of their subject.

English teachers, generally more well-read than the average person, are constantly reading, and thinking carefully about what books/poems students will study.

Art teachers probably have a deep knowledge of not only the history of art, but what contemporary art is and where to find it.

Mathematics teachers? Today they are seem fixated with how to teach mathematics and far, far, far less on what they are teaching. Now, NONE of this is their fault. It’s the fault of the institution, and what is being prioritized.

Doing mathematics, discussing mathematics, and sharing mathematics that is rich as any novel read or art gazed upon is dead.

Mathematics education is a gatekeeper. It wants you to believe that no other mathematics exists. It wants you to believe that K to 12 mathematics is as good as it gets. No number theory. No game theory. No graph theory. No recreational mathematics. No mathematics history. No emphasis on current endeavours/unsolved problems.

Just a dirty-water hot dog of some of the most indigestible ideas about mathematics.

Everyone is a math person — but education, which only short-sells the beauty of mathematics — has no business saying that. Who would want to be a math person as seen in mathematics education? That’s a shadow and muted representation of mathematics.

Mathematics education has not — nor will ever — concern themselves with bored students who have had all their enthusiasm for learning drained out by the system. Poor tests scores are simply the result of students not giving a fuck anymore.

Not. Giving. A. Fuck. Anymore.

Mathematics education isn’t deaf. They just don’t care about mental health and curiosity for learning. It’s all been codified to death now with standards, expectations, outcomes, etc.

The kids have mentally left the building. Nobody in 2024 should be liking mathematics in schools.

It shouldn’t be called “overcoming math anxiety”. It should be called “overcoming math education”.