Multicultural and Gender Equity Issues in a History of Mathematics Course: Not Only Dead European Males

Alfinio Flores, Kelly E. Kimpton


We address issues related to gender and cultural equity in a history of mathematics course. We first look at the preponderance of male European mathematicians represented in textbooks of mathematics and history or mathematics. Then we discuss ways to highlight the presence of female and non-European mathematicians in the history of mathematics. Next we analyze the cultural and gender bias present in a history of mathematics textbook and how it tends to perpetuate the perception of mathematics as a male domain. Finally, we discuss the development of an activity to connect the history of mathematics with high school mathematics learning, and the need for teachers to be aware of bias in textbooks so they can rewrite women back into their instruction. The activity about statisticians and their contributions, set in a contemporary fictional setting, follows the article.

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