Throughout my high school experience, I can say that my math experiences were very product and process based. There were people in my class that excelled at math, as it came very easy to them. On the other hand, there were people like me, who had a harder time understanding the concepts of math, therefore, struggling to get the correct outcomes. With math, it is a very direct subject, there is only one right answer for majority of the problems and the teacher usually only teaches one way to get there. If you weren’t good at math, it was harder to understand that there in only one right answer, with one direct pathway to get there. Furthermore, after reading the article, by Leroy Little Bear, it clear that there are many aspects to how math is taught which are discriminatory and oppressive. The mathematical literature that is presented in many textbooks, are oppressive to students who struggle with math, as well as, people who struggle with understanding English ways. Although, I could understand the literary aspects of math, it important to note that all students might not have the same backgrounds, therefore, they will have a harder time understanding the literary concepts in math. Leroy Little Bear’s statement on how colonialism “tries to maintain a singular social order by means of force and law, suppressing the diversity of human worldview … Typically, this proposition creates oppression discrimination” (pg. 77). This statement is true, because oppression and discrimination is present when students comes from diverse backgrounds and cannot convert their understanding to Eurocentric mathematical ways.
In Poirier’s article, Inuit peoples are challenged in many ways when converting to the Eurocentric math system. Inuit peoples use a different base system, which is the base 20 system, in comparison to the Eurocentric system of base 10. I could understand how challenging this would be to learn a whole other system prior to what you have previously learned. Also, they depend on oral dictation to count. There are challenges that arise in counting for Inuit people, because many of their number differ in different context in which they are being used. Lastly, measuring is different for Inuit peoples, as they use their body parts to quantify dimensions. These are the ways they learn, and curriculum should be revised in order to accommodate to those who have a different ways of learning.