The subject of mathematics and its role in education is incredibly fascinating. Even outside of math class, there is a case to be made for math and numbers being integral components of the Western curriculum. As Dr. Russell discusses in her lecture, math can be taught and incorporated into lessons in more than one way. The methods typically seen in our schools, though, are Eurocentric carryovers from colonial times. These methods and the beliefs around them differ significantly in the educational systems of other cultures, such as that of the Inuit people. Examples of the Inuit mathematics system differing include theirs being a base-20 system, their expression of mathematics and numbers being primarily oral, and the fact that they do not consider mathematics to be something that should be incorporated into real-life situations. Their system does have some similarities to the mainstream Western system though, such as theirs revolving around six specific topics: counting, localization, measuring, design, games, and explanation. As Louise Poirier explains in her article, various mathematical curriculums incorporate these core concepts in their own unique ways but ultimately still incorporate all six. Inuit and Eurocentric methods of mathematical education are rather different, and learning about Inuit methods demonstrates that there are multiple ways to learn the subject besides the mainstream method commonly seen in Western schools.
In my own schooling, I did not learn much about Indigenous people, let alone those in Canada. Whatever I did learn was about American Indigenous people and their history, and even that was brief. Having finished my secondary schooling in Israel, I learned more about the history of my country, neighbouring countries, and the United States than I did about anything Canadian. I bring a rather unique perspective to my classroom, as I spent half of my life in a Middle Eastern country and therefore did not grow up in the same environment as many of my fellow teachers and students. I am always eager to learn more about Canadian history, especially as I am a Canadian citizen, and I have learned so much from my time at the University of Regina that I am confident I have basically caught up to my fellow students in terms of knowledge of Canadian history and Indigenous culture. I know I still have so much more to learn though, and I can’t wait to accept all learning opportunities and bring as much knowledge as I can to my classroom!