Product or Process?

Reading response from the required readings/videos (below) about Curriculum as Literacy. Think of your experiences of the teaching and learning of mathematics.

I found that the Inuit teaching system challenges Eurocentric teaching system is that their teachings are taught in different languages. Inuit speak Inuktitut, but are given the option to learn French and English once they reach grade 3. This enables the students to learn and develop their language as they learn mathematics. This also allows the students to think more critically and try to apply different languages within their teachings.

Math is a subject that people either like or do not like. My experiences of teaching and learning mathematics is probably quite similar to others. The teacher at the front of the classroom writing notes and examples on the board. Learning meant that students are to copy what was written on the board. Once the teacher was done with notes, there would be assigned questions from the textbook that we were to work on in class or work on and complete at home. The odd time in math we would do hands on activities. This was a different way of learning compared to my other classes.  I took several math classes in high school and did fairly well. Although, I know many students would not feel the same as I do. I think people would enjoy math more if it was taught using various teaching styles such as hands on learning. Another way to encourage learning could be introducing fun ways to learn math, such as the program for young children called Mathletics. Mathletics is a rewarding and highly captivating online math resource for students of all ages.

There are many ways that the “eurocentric way” of looking at mathematics can be compared to the way I learned math. Some examples are:

  1. Math, in many cases, is product-based. Student copy and complete questions to then be tested to show your understanding. Contrasting to the Aboriginal perspectives where learning is very process-based, where aboriginals find the meaning in what they learn.
  2. Counting: Inuit children learn to count in their own language, being taught oral numeration. This contrasted because “we” are usually taught to be math literate where we speak, read and write for understanding.
  3. Localization: Inuit people do their math that relates to real-life experiences. That can be things such as traveling and having to read the land and weather. Math taught the Eurocentric way often focuses on a formula and finding an answer.
  4. Space/Time: The difference in tracking time, for the Inuit, they track time on the natural, independently recurring yearly events.

Some Readings/Viewings:

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