By Dr. Randy Philipp, President, Association of Mathematics Teacher Education (AMTE), on Behalf of the Board of Directors of AMTE
For Immediate Release: January 11, 2018
Raleigh NC, January 11, 2018 – Albert Einstein said that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. The scholarly community in general and scholars in mathematics teacher education in particular have been coming under attack by people who are oversimplifying important research being carried out, and often the result has been nothing short of vicious and personal attacks on the people producing this important scholarship. The mathematics teacher education community has been at the center of several recent politically-motivated controversies. Two such examples are when Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez’s chapter in the AMTE Professional Book Series, Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods, was unprofessionally attacked, and more recently, when an article published by Laurie Rubel in the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education was subject to similar unprofessional attacks. Scholarly debates about substance are useful for promoting a field, but baseless attacks by those who are simply looking to promote their own agendas without taking the time to understand the work of those they are claiming to critique is unscholarly and disingenuous. We must question important ideas, but we only do that by first taking the time to understand the ideas that we are questioning.
A key aspect of AMTE’s mission is to advance the learning of our community about mathematics education and mathematics teacher education. Advancing learning requires the consideration of a variety of perspectives, including perspectives that may be uncomfortable for one to hear and read. AMTE explicitly supports the diversity of research and inquiry embodied in work by such scholars as Dr. Gutiérrez and Dr. Rubel.
Finally, there is a much darker side to these critiques. Some people are using these uninformed critiques as a catalyst to send racist, homophobic, misogynist, antisemitic, even violent messages to the scholars. Upholding the democratic ideals that serve as the foundation of our country require all decent people, regardless of their political stance, to stand side-by-side with anyone who is personally attacked for sharing scholarly positions. We stand with Dr. Gutiérrez, with Dr. Rubel, and with all scholars in general and mathematics teacher education scholars in particular, who are seeking to help us more deeply understand issues of equity and social justice in mathematics teacher education.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Timothy Hendrix, AMTE Executive Director at 919.760.8240 or email at email@example.com.