Mathematics

As I think back to my schooling experience I am disappointed. I was the kid that was half decent at doing math but I absolutely hated doing it. The experience that pushed me over the edge with math was when my one teacher said that I had not done the math booklet her way therefore I would have to do it all over again. I went crying home to my mom begging to not have  to do it again. It wasn’t until my first year class of Math 101 that I actually enjoyed math. Particularly in this course there was more than one way to do a math equation and I think this is the type of freedom I longed for my entire schooling. In addition to this, we had the opportunity to learn math of Indigenous groups or other cultures. It was fun. But why couldn’t math always be fun? I cant say that I was ever really oppressed and discriminated against but I know for a fact that kids of Indigenous culture in my class were. No one every wanted to work with them because the teacher paid little attention to them meaning they didn’t understand it. 

Inuit math most definitely challenges eurocentric math. As a whole Inuit math is more focused on the environment and relationships. With this it allows Inuit math to become more practical. Where as eurocentric math is linear, singular and static. This type of math ultimately leads to students asking “when am I ever  going to use this” or “why am I learning this?” In the reading Leroy Little Bear (2000, pg.81) we are told that education is a collective responsibility among family, friends and the community. In today’s math we don’t see this type of concept. Instead we find a teacher standing at the front of the room telling students what they must know in order to be successful in the course. Where in contrast Inuit seek the advice of everyone in order to educate their child. Lastly, I found it super interesting that in the Inuit school and community they are taught their own language for the first three years than in either French or English. Where in contrast my schooling was taught in only English. Ultimately, there is lots we can learn as teachers from how Inuit are teaching math to students.

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