I Must Be Missing Something, Dept.

traditional math

The movie “Hidden Figures”, about three African American women who were instrumental in the space program in the 60’s, has garnered lots of “STEM is not just for white guys” types of promotions.  (See this, or this or this.  There are many more.)  Also there are many blog posts by various progressivist/educationist types, praising the movie.

It seems strange to me then that in all this “conversation” about the themes of the film, there is nary a mention that the three women rose to their prominence based on the traditional math education they received. This is the type of math teaching, prominent in the era the women were from, that is so derided and despised by math reformers and given blame for “failing thousands of students”.

Is there an unstated progressivist narrative going on? How does it go again? The women were interested/gifted/talented in math and science to…

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