- 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?
- 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 of mathematics and the way we learn it.
Blog Post #9
Looking back on my mathematics “Journey” it has not been easy. When I was younger I would say I was stronger at math than a lot of kids. We had different groups for students that were struggling in math or were stronger in it, and I was always in the strong group. Throughout school that started to change, I would say I was bad at math but I could see myself starting to despise it and get “worse” at it. I think more and more I started to not enjoy it, I stopped trying and that is when I think I started to think I was bad at it. I think when you start to tell yourself you are bad at something you will start to hate it and then it is just a cycle. LOoking back at high school math that is exactly what I did. I didn’t want to go to math because i told myself I was “bad” at it and there was no use because I’d never understood it. I think students from a young age need to be shown that math can be fun, and just because you don’t catch on right away doesn’t mean you are weak at something or need to hate it. Math is used every day, so really how can you hate it.
Three ways that Inuit Mathematics Challenge Eurocentric Ideas:
- Some of the terms that we use in Mathematics are different- some of these are straight lines are cubes. These terms may be different but they all turn out to mean the same thing and aren’t wrong.
- We all see math as the universal language, which more times then not it is, but in the Inuit culture, it does have some difference that reflects their culture.
- We tend to focus more on the symbols in mathematics and use paper, but in the Inuit culture, they focus more on the language and focusing more orally in math. -I think these are all very important to learn and realize that everything is taught differently around the world and just because its different doesn’t mean its wrong.