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Tubman Talks with Dr. Molade Osibodu

Date: November 23, 2023

Time: 2:30-4:00pm ET

Location: Resource Room, 314 York Lanes, York University, Keele Campus & Zoom

Zoom Registration:

Title: Unsettling Colonial Logics in Secondary Mathematics Education

Abstract: Recently, the casting of Black actors in fantasy-based contexts, such as The Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Power, House of the Dragon, and The Little Mermaid, has caused significant controversy. The issue raises the question of where Black people are allowed to exist, as some find it challenging to conceive of Black people simply existing in the realm of fantasy and fiction. In the realm of mathematics education, it appears equally challenging to believe in the success of Black learners in secondary mathematics education. Katherine McKittrick’s (2006) Demonic Grounds delves into how physical and material spaces reveal the non-neutral nature of spatiality, particularly for Black people. McKittrick queries, “what is it about space, place, and blackness—the uneven sites of physical and experiential ‘difference’—that derange the landscape and its inhabitants?” (p. 3). This talk examines how coloniality has contributed to this derangement by closely examining the experiences of Black secondary learners in mathematics education. I challenge the notion of exceptionality by arguing that Black learners success in mathematics should be normalized. Furthermore, these experiences underscore the imperative to reimagine spaces and to contemplate the conditions under which Black mathematics learners not only exist but thrive in mathematics education.

Bio: Dr. Molade Osibodu is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at York University. Her research critically examines the experiences of Black youth in mathematics education. Dr. Osibodu is specifically interested in examining ways to decolonize mathematics education for liberatory futures, engaging with social justice issues and exploring African Indigenous mathematics practices.

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