Phi Beta Cons

Ed School Priorities

Here’s an article from Jay Greene and Catherine Shock on, among other things, the relative weight schools of education give to math and to diversity/multiculturalism in their class offerings (). Greene and Shock surveyed how many courses in a school’s offerings focus on “political and social ends of education,” and how many focus math topics. An excerpt on findings from selected curricula.

The average ed school, we found, has a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 1.82, meaning that it offers 82% more courses featuring social goals than featuring math. At Harvard and Stanford, the ratio is about 2: Almost twice as many courses are social as mathematical.
At the University of Minnesota, the ratio is higher than 12. And at UCLA, a whopping 47 course titles and descriptions contain the word “multiculturalism” or “diversity,” while only three contain the word “math,” giving it a ratio of almost 16.
Some programs do show different priorities. At the University of Missouri, 43 courses bear titles or descriptions that include multiculturalism or diversity, but 74 focus on math, giving it a lean multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 0.58. Penn State’s ratio is 0.39.
(By contrast, the ratio at Penn State’s Ivy League counterpart, the University of Pennsylvania, is over 3.)
Still, of the 71 programs we studied, only 24 have a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of less than 1; only five pay twice as much attention to math as to social goals.

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