Mathematics in the Class

. At the beginning of the reading, Leroy Little Bear (2000) states that colonialism “tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldviews. … Typically, this proposition creates oppression and discrimination” (p. 77). Think back on your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics — were there aspects of it that were oppressive and/or discriminating for you or other students?
2. After reading Poirier’s article: Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes mathematics and the way we learn it.

Thinking back, I remember how much I liked math but also remember if I didn’t show my work in the way we learnt how to complete it in class we would lose half the marks for the right answer. When the guest speaker talked about how you hold up your pointer and middle finger the student says two but you show them to other fingers and they question the answer. They both mean the same thing and asking that question to a student can really show how much they know about counting and give them the ability to question if two other fingers mean two. Students have the ability to achieve a lot if you give them the time. You do not need to instructionally teach them how to think about numbers because they can do the basics on their own.

“Counting: the systematic use of methods to compare and order sets of objects • Localization: the exploration of one’s spatial environment and the symbolization of that environment with the help of models, diagrams, drawings, words, or other means • Measuring: the use of objects or measuring tools to quantify dimensions • Design: the creation of forms for an object or for decorating an object • Games: the development of games and the more or less formal rules that the players must follow” These are four different ways that math is taught differently through other cultures. The first time I learned an indigenous method to do mathematics was in my second year of university.  We learned base 20 and other ways of writing numbers in different cultures. It is important as teachers we recognize math is not interpreted perfectly the same since other people have different methods towards learning it.


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