Durham’s maths problem

More exciting news arrives from Britain’s dimmest university, Durham, which is embarking on a programme to ‘decolonise’ mathematics. About time. For too long the subject has been dominated by racist stuff like adding things up or multiplying etc. Hopefully soon there will be room for students, when faced with a question such as ‘what is four plus four?’ to eschew the didacticism of white supremacy by answering ‘eight’ and suggest instead a number which they think feels intuitively right, such as 7,231. (Or indeed any number: it is not for me, as a privileged white straight male, to suggest to people who have been the victims of structural racism an

Now isn’t the time to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum

Who will educate the educators, when the educators get things wrong? This week, one of Britain’s leading teaching unions passed a motion to ‘decolonise’ all subjects in the secondary school curriculum: not just history or English, but all subjects, including food technology, computer science, geography, and maths. Black history must be ‘fully embedded’ across the curriculum, NASUWT’s president, Michelle Codrington-Rogers, said. What started out as a laudatory attempt to teach black students that their history is much more than slavery and colonialism, has led to a sad, pathetic, hyperbolic overreaching. Black Maths? What is that? The only name of any mathematician I ever learnt at high school was Pythagoras, and no one