Week Six Blog Post

Part 1 (Numeracy): Using Gale’s lecture, Poirier’s article, and Bear’s article, identify at least three ways in which Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it.

Gale’s lecture discusses how infants learn math and how it is different than the abstract way that we view it while we are older.  Gale touches on both indigenous world views and traditional world views and where they may be similar and where they differ. She talks about the ways that traditional worldviews focuses on static learning rather than incorporating indigenous world views. Gale ends her lecture by saying, “we are all mathematical human beings but we all doing mathematics in our own ways” (1:13:20-1:13:25). This is incredibly important to remember – all of our students may learn differently but it is up to teachers to help grow and expand that knowledge. Poirier’s article discusses that students learn mathematics “in their own language in the first three years of their schooling and then go on to study in either French or English.” (Poirier, page2). The article discusses the importance of environment, language and culture that influences numeration systems. There are different ways Inuit individuals learn mathematics such as: traditional learning and knowledge and relates to land experience. “Traditional Inuit teaching is based on observing an elder or listening to enigmas.” whereas, teaching in North America is listening to a teacher. Inuit mathematics challenge our ways of knowledge by showing different approaches. Bear’s article identifies that there are many different ways to interpret the world. Bear discusses aboriginal views in comparison of Western Europeans. Static, Linear and objective are terms that are used consistently to define views that relate to math.These articles want to challenge the way we think about mathematics by incorporating different viewpoints and another cultural perspective on the topic. Three main points that I have taken from these articles is that they all want to try and move away from the static, linear teaching and find other ways to teach their students.

Part 2 (Literacy): Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered? What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases? 

“The danger of a single story” touches on the dangers of learning one culture and how vulnerable students can be when introduced into only one type of literature. During my time in school, I remember a lot of literature was European based – especially in history classes. My history teacher tried his best to incorporate indigenous stories in the classrooms.

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