Curriculum as numeracy

The main quote for this week mentions the problem with colonialism and how it “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” (pg 77). This statement is very true. When looking at the curriculum, textbook, or even my passport there is only typically one small part about Indigenous culture. Because of this multiple questions come to my mind some of them are: Why do we only include indigenous culture within small and selected pieces? Why is it that some people find that treaty education is not important to teach? The answer is the quote itself, and how even today we follow colonialism. Even though Canadians say we are open to new cultures and change, but are we really? 

    When thinking back to my education of mathematics there was not an obvious oppression to myself when I was learning the material at the time. However, when I  think about the images in the textbook it was like every reading book available where all the characters or pictures were of white boys and girls.

One of the ways Inuit mathematics challenges Eurocentric is “Inuit children learn to count in their language, and, until last year, they would switch into either French or English in Grade 3. Since September 2005, Grade 3 has become a transition year in the learning of mathematics: 75% of the time allowed for mathematics is spent teaching and learning in Inuktitut; the remaining 25% is in either French or English.”(Poirier, p.57). The second being “A few elements of Inuit traditional mathematics have been presented here, but we still have a lot to explore and understand. In addition to discovering their mathematics, we have tried to understand the structure of their language—Inuktitut. Being from an oral tradition, the Inuit rely on their language; in fact, not only do they rely on it, they identify themselves with their language.”(Poirier, p.62). A third way is for measuring “The first measuring tools were parts of the body (the finger, the foot, etc.). Still today, Inuit women use certain parts of their bodies to measure length—for example, the palm when making atigi (parkas). Measuring the base of your neck will help make a perfectly fitting parka. If they need to be more precise—for example, when making kamiik (boots)—they will use one phalanx as a smaller measuring unit.”(Poirier, p.60). 

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