Curriculum as Numeracy

Looking back at my time in math classes I never really felt that anyone was oppressed or discriminated against. However, I was always taught that there is one way to find an answer to a certain problem, and I now beginning to realize that it is not always the case. Our math classes constantly used the math textbook, and it was not very often that we would differ away from this. Although the way that math classes were divided in my school was the ‘smart kids’ took foundation 10 and 20 in grade 10, then in grade 11 they took precalculus 20 and 30, and in grade 12 they took calculus 30, and then AP math which was Math 110. The kids who ‘struggled’ in math were often encouraged to take the foundations route, or the workplace route. While I often did not feel oppressed when I was in my math classes there was definitely an expectation of what math everyone should be taken. As I look back on it now I realize that this was of streaming students into math classes probably was not the best one as it was all based on assumptions.

Inuit mathematics use a 20 base system instead of the Eurocentric 10 base system. This can be very confusing as every calculation that is made must be changed. There math system is also oral so ensuring that different people know what they are saying is important when it comes to math. Secondly, there sense of space is different from Eurocentric ways of mathematics. The reading mentioned that when an Inuit person goes hunting they can see how far away from the bay they are by smelling how salty the air is. This concept is completely unknown in Eurocentric ways of thinking, and the ways that Inuit people position themselves in regards to sense of space is very unique. Thirdly, the measuring system for Inuit people is different than the Eurocentric way. Still today Inuit people use parts of their bodies to measures certain items such as clothing, while when I think of clothing I think of standard small, medium, and large sizes. The example in the reading is that the palm of the hand measures the base of the neck, which is something I had never heard of prior to this reading.   


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