Challenging Mathematics

In the first reading, “Jagged Worldviews Colliding” it states that there are “always other ways of interpreting the world.” When coming across this point, I thought back to Gales Mathematics presentation and how we can all do math but some of us interpret it differently. Throughout my schooling, I never witnessed or experiences any form of discrimination or oppression in math. We had a choice on which math class we wanted to take in high school. If we received high grades in junior high, the math classes we could take were more open. Math classes were only for the “smart” kids. When I was in grade 12 I was enrolled in Math 30-1. I was doing well in this class but had to drop it before the diploma because I would have failed in the end. Having these standardized tests for math was terrible. If you did not have a certain grade going into the test, your teacher would basically tell you to drop the class because you would not want a failing mark on your transcript. These tests lead a lot of students from taking higher-level math classes because the math diplomas were always the most difficult.

 

In the second reading “Teaching Mathematics and the Inuit community” it challenges the norm. This culture experiences a different and more open way to math then we do in our community. People in the Inuit experience math in their preferred language for the first 3 years of school. Their math allows students to be more open-minded. It challenges the norm because they have various terms for the same number, they have base 20 numeral system and they are taught orally through their elders. The students in the class are only asked questions that the teacher believes the students are prepared to answer. I believe we should be continuing to challenge the Eurocentric ideas about math and make math fit everyone’s needs and cultures.

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