Growing up I had a lot of mixed feelings in school about math. I had teachers who were very good at teaching math and some who were not. My grade 3 and 4 years of school I had a teacher who taught math in a way that was stressful but effective during the time. When learning our time tables she would make us do “tests” where a video would tell us “this x this” and we would have about 10 seconds to write the answer down. Not only did you not get to see the question but if you were to write anything but the answer on the test you would get the question wrong. It was to help us improve our mental math but was extremely stressful for me. In grade 8 my teacher left half way through the year because she had a baby. She was very good at teaching us math and in the 4 month we had her we learned 3 or 4 units of math. When we got our new teacher she was great but had little experience teaching multiple subjects. We were taught about lots of things but in the almost 6 months we had her as a teacher, we learned maybe one unit of math. For me, I never liked math and struggled with it for most of my schooling. I think a big part of that was from the stress that I got from my teachers. It got to a point that I stopped feeling bad about not doing good in math because I thought I would never be good at math and what was the point, even though I still tried my best in the class. It wasn’t until my University Math 101 class did I actually start to enjoy math.
Personally, I don’t remember seeing any oppression and/or discrimination in my math classes directly. My school was already pretty diverse and never seemed to be a problem. I think the thing that was a problem was there were teachers that just thought because a student wasn't doing well in the class they just assumed that they didn't care or weren't trying, not because they didn't understand. These students who struggled with understanding just got, in a way, left behind because the teachers thought they weren’t trying. Math is a course that many students are taught that there is only one right way to do it. Even if you get the right answer but don’t do the “correct” steps it is still considered wrong. That is something that is really hard for students to work with because everyone learns in a different way. There isn’t one correct way of teaching that fits every student's understanding and needs, but in math apparently there is.
As seen in Gale’s lecture and Poirier’s article, Inuit mathematics challenged many Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way in which we learn it. Some of these things are:
Whats on this page?
Here I will write my responses and thoughts to readings, texts, articles, conversations and more throughout my time in ECS 210.