Curriculum as Numeracy

Thinking back on my experiences of learning mathematics back home, I do not remember any aspect of the subject that was oppressive to me. In general, I was always good at maths during elementary and high school years and I never really experienced issues in the subject. I also taught mathematics to some elementary kids and helped my brother who had troubles with the subject. However, I can understand how math might be oppressive to some students. Schools usually pushes educators to teach only one or two methods in order to reach the final product instead of considering other methods that might also work for some students. The methods used come from an Eurocentric idea and therefore some students that are struggling with applying them might feel oppressed or discriminated. In the article Teaching mathematics and the Inuit Community, Bishop recognized that mathematics is a cultural product that takes many different forms. Therefore each culture has its own way of dealing with the different concepts learned in the subject. However, some of those ways are not implemented in the classes nor taking into account when teaching maths. 

Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purposes of mathematics and the way we learn in that learning math for Inuit is more practical. One of these challenges is through measuring length. Inuit people use part of their bodies to measure length rather than rulers or other tools like the Eurocentric way. Another challenge is through the oral numeration. For Inuit people 20 and 400 are pivotal numbers and other numbers are built from these two numbers since Inuit use a base of 20 numerical system. Another way in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas is thought their great aptitude in spatial representations. Poirier mentions how Inuit children develop spatial representations that are different from those children who live in a city like Montreal.

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