A reader who created this list sent it to me.

If math were taught the way religion is taught in many Catholic schools:

- How do you feel about numbers?
- Meditate on your favorite number, then write a paragraph about why it is

your favorite. - Choose a song and identify some of the ways in which numbers are present

in it. Play the song for the class and lead a discussion about what the class

thinks the song expresses about numbers. - Which number is most present to you in your life today? Which number is

most absent? - We’re going to watch a movie. At the end of the movie we’ll

discuss the ways in which numbers are explicitly and symbolically portrayed

in it. - What can you do to be more aware of numbers in your everyday life?
- What are your best and worst experiences involving numbers?
- Make a poster in which you creatively and colorfully depict a number of

your choice. - Although some numbers are called “greater” and others are called

“lesser”, in what ways are all numbers really the same? In what

ways can the “lesser” numbers be considered greater than the “greater”

numbers, and in what ways can the “greater” numbers be considered

less than the “lesser” numbers? - Even though irrational numbers cannot be expressed as the quotient of two

integers the way rational numbers can, explain how irrational numbers should

be respected and considered to be no different from rational numbers. - Explain how the traditional classification of integers as either odd or

even is merely a social construct. - Explain how every number has something good about it.
- Do you accept the way that previous generations have used numbers? How

do you think numbers should be used? Is there a right or a wrong way to use

numbers? What do you consider to be the most personally meaningful way to

use numbers? - How has the way you use numbers changed throughout your life? How do you

think you will use numbers in the future? - Explain why a diversity of numbers is good and what you can do to promote

number diversity. - Explain how multi-cultural approaches to numeral systems (e.g., Mesopotamian,

Roman, Arabic) can enrich our appreciation of numbers. Also explain why no

numeral system is better than any other system. - You will have to do a group project in which each person contributes a

number. Present to the class all the ways your group can relate the numbers

to each other. Your presentation can be a PowerPoint or a video in which you

creatively animate the numbers your group selects. - Write an essay in which you pretend that you are a number. Explain what

you think it would be like to be that number. - If you believe in your heart or in your conscience that 2+2=5, does anyone

else have the right to tell you that you’re wrong? Explain why we should

avoid judging other people’s mathematical operations. - Fractions are divisive. Can you think of better ways to express a quotient,

without using divisive fractions? Is division something we should strive to

do with numbers anyway? - Explain why the labeling of numbers as either “positive” or

“negative” is discriminatory, hurtful, and a manifestation of

the bigotry of value-ism. How would you feel if you were labeled a “negative”

number? What can you do to help end this kind of discrimination? - Create a collage of numbers.

Pretty good list – though I would add:

- Make a felt banner showing what numbers mean to you.
- Should fractions be written with one number over another one? Explain why

this is an unjust hierarchical system where when the operation is carried

out it only diminishes the so-called numerator.

And added to one he sent me:

- Explain why the labeling of some numbers as “prime” is also

discriminatory and hurtful, and a manifestation of the bigotry of divisible-ism.

How would you feel if you were labeled a “non-prime” or “divisible”

number? Does having factors really matter in the long run? After all There

is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither

male nor female; or prime and non-prime. If it isn’t divisive why does it

have natural divisors?

Of course there is also my The

Mathsiah.

What would be your examples?

## 18 comments

My only thought is that some school is considering this a good idea’ if it isn’t being used already.

That list seemed pretty comprehensive for Math. But being Math is finite in comparison to God, the religion class could find innumerable ways to be contrary.

Hey, that’s exactly as that Simpsons episode!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFbYe-MJ3K4

Explain why a belief in transcendental numbers is irrational.

This, in addition to “God makes and loves equally fluffy bunnies of all colors, religions, and sexual persuasions and only hates the soldier bunnies” is why I stopped paying $4K a year for private “Catholic” school and yanked my daughter out of school mid-quarter to home school her.

For about $600 a year, I can avoid both relativism and felt banners — a bargain no matter how you look at it.

My reservist husband, who was an object lesson on the evils of war during and after his deployment to Iraq, concurs.

Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9. Write a paragraph on how 6 could empower herself against 7. Draw a picture of 7 and 9 engaged in dialog.

Deconstruct the bias in the use of “negative” numbers vis-a-vis “positive” numbers. Why do you think “positive” numbers increase to the “right”? Is this a systemic handedness bias in our culture? Suggest an inclusive language system for dealing with such bimorphisms in number systems.

^

oops, sorry, I missed the bullet on negative numbers in the original post … perhaps due to laughing too much. Apologies.

You should make one about how they would teach english or science too. I like math!

Explain why homomorphisms are just like other groups and shouldn’t be discriminated against.

How about doing a liturgical dance on your favorite number? Or even better, how about doing a liturgical dance showing the “unity” of all numbers?

And they’ll know we are numbers by our love, by our love…

BMP

Explain how the white european male oligarchs stole the concept of zero from the peaceful arabs. Examine the role that the Greco-Roman concept of infinity plays in western delusions of deities.

The square root of an “alternative to positive” number is often called “imaginary.” What number do you imagine? Explain how imaginary numbers make you feel.

By assigning numbers to different letters, you can create numeric anagrams. What numbers would you have to assign to the letters in “President Bush” to make it equal to “The Only Devil”?

A Jehovah’s Witness comes to your door and tells you that only 144,000 people are going to heaven. Calculate the percentage decrease in his/her odds of going to heaven if he/she successfully converts you.

Timmy’s parents are Jane and Lucy. Timmy is the biological son of Jane and Todd. Todd is married to Steve. Steve and Todd are the parents of Sarah. Sarah’s biological parents are Steve and Lucy. If Sarah and Timmy got married, how many Jesuits would concelebrate the wedding?

This is hilarious…a great parable/analogy.

I especially like Brian’s suggestion: A liturgical dance showing the unity of numbers.

Superb, Jeff! The bit about negatives (and imaginaries) always links me to the “sign of contradiction” in Lk 2:34 – the plus sign is the cross, opposed by the negative, which would like to zero out the cross, but the cross is the sign of reality. Curiouser and curiouser.

Also, I seem to recall hearing a translation of Luke 12:51 which said something like: “You think I have come to bring peace on earth? I have come not to bring peace, but

division.”The really stunning thing is that in Greek, the word we translate as “disciple” looks like “mathetai” which means “students” – yes, “Mathematics” really means “the Study” (or “the Learning”) since it is something which is taught and learned.

Sadly, I think this *is* how Mathematics is taught in some schools, not just religion.

By assigning numbers to people you know, explain what JP Morgan meant when he said “Buy low and sell high.”

Brilliant!

But wait! Have we neglected to include the entire class in confecting edible numbers?

This is

twat

twat