The primary discourse with respect to equity in mathematics education is centered on cultural identities tied to race. In my work as Québec team leader for NCSM and my work with teachers of students with learning disabilities I’ve come to understand that equity in mathematics education takes many forms. With two official languages, Canada, for example, has communities whose cultural identities are tied to language. I’m a native English speaker who was born, raised and now lives in the province of Québec. This makes me a linguistic minority. In most of the rest of Canada, it is the native French speakers that are the linguistic minority.
Si nous voulons être une organisme qui représente tous nos membres canadiens on doit réfléchir è comment nous pouvons soutenir nos collègues francophones dans leurs travaux. Pour déclarer assurément que nous sommes un organisme de leadership qui promouvoit l’équité et l’excellence pour tous, nos discussions doivent inclure les communautés représentées par nos deux langues officielles.
As I join the board of NCSM I also want to encourage us to reflect on what equity means for our students with learning disabilities. When, I joined the teaching professional 14 years ago we were already using text-to-speech software and yet, all these years later, there are no such software that “read” math. There are workarounds to be sure but I believe that more could be done to facilitate learning for students with disabilities.
I believe that NCSM has a very important role in supporting leaders to consider the many facets of equity as well as a responsibility to advocate for greater access for all students learning mathematics.