Mathmatics in Schools

  1. 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?

    Mathematics was and still is a scary subject for me to learn and to want to teach. I have had nothing but bad experiences from math from Grade 5/12. Grade 3/4 I was able to grasp certain concepts through repetition. It was not the fact that I was not willing to learn or that I just hated math it was the fact that it took longer for me to understand what was being taught. Once I started to understand the content math became easier. As I made it further into other grades I struggled massively. My brain was not keeping up with the pacing of our unit plans. I fell behind to the point where we were finally doing our reviews for the test I would starting to understand the content. That is that scary thing I was starting and we were already nearing the end. I felt left out and I felt shackled because I just could not pick up on the content that was being taught. It was overwhelming it was scary for me and it is something I do not want to have my students go through. Ways that were the worst was where I had a teacher fail me in my grade 10 math class. She said maybe if you asked for more help you would have passed the class. The problem with that was that I did get help. I stayed in with an EA to assist me with my assignments and to help me study. My mom took time away to help me when I was at home. It became evident that aside from my other classes math was my priority. It just sucks that some bad experiences with math have me resent it. My goal as a teacher is to never have my students feel the way I felt and give them a positive learning experience.

  2. 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 mathematics and the way we learn it.

 

  • Inuit children learn mathematics in their mother tongue during the first three years of schooling.
  • But the challenge is also in the fact that each number has different forms according to the context.
  • Such precision in language brought the Inuit to develop several forms for
    each number to mark the context in which it is used.

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