A university professor has claimed teaching maths perpetuates "unearned" white privilege.
Rochelle Gutierrez, from the University of Illinois, urged her colleagues to be aware of the "politics that mathematics brings" in a new anthology directed at teachers.
Titled “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods", Ms Gutierrez argues a focus on Pythagorean theorem and pi feed into the idea that maths was developed by the Greeks and Europeans.
"On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White," she wrote, according to Campus Reform.
“Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?”
She also believes society's focus on maths as a key skill can perpetuate discrimination against minorities.
"If one is not viewed as mathematical, there will always be a sense of inferiority that can be summoned," she wrote.
Ms Gutierrez said knowledge is "relational" and must be treated as such, saying: "Things cannot be known objectively; they must be known subjectively."
She believes the problem can be addressed by teachers developing a better political understanding outside of the classroom.
The Independent has contacted Ms Gutierrez for comment.
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