When reading and listening to different texts regarding Which Inuit mathemarics challenge Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it was interesting and refreshing. When watching Dr Gale Russel YouTube video on Curriculum as Numeracy she brought ups some important points and the one that I resonated with was how Inuit children are taught using their personal experiences therefore discussions that probe questions surrounding “what is going on mathematically here”? This gives students a sense of the world around them and making connections to real life situations mathematically. Loise Poirier article on teaching mathematics and the Inuit community had remarkably similar points to ponder. Poirier expresses that, “paper to pencil exercises are not based on the ‘natural’ ways of learning of Inuit children”. Instead it is based on observation of elders or listening to enigmas. One thing I found interesting was that they do not ask questions to the students they do not know the answer to. I cannot help but wonder what the reasoning for this is? Leroy Little Bear in his article Jagged Worldviews colliding had objectivity in place by physical observations and measurement. He goes on to say that “In plains Indian philosophy, certain events, patterns, cycles and happenings take place in certain places.” I cannot help but think of my own schooling and the struggles I faced in Mathematics. My strengths in school are observation and practical work. I thrive on observing and doing, I however am a product of the 80s and was taught to sit and do work in a txt book. None I can say that with full truth, none of my schooling (math) had any practical/observations methods. I taught grade 2 last year on a First Nations Reserve and realized the importance of reaching students in all different ways, tactile, observation, production, kinesthetic, we need to offer the students a variety of ways to learn. I know my math experience would have been a lot more positive if I would have had a differentiation in my learning.
Upon graduating grade 12 in 1999 I feel as though so much of my education to that point was more focused on being a personally responsible citizen. I can say that because I recall doing things like; picking up garbage around the school, being mindful of the environment – shutting lights off, not littering. We carried out food drives and donated food to the school especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We were taught about obeying the law and rules within the school. As for Participatory Citizen and Justice oriented Citizen- I can tell you I knew who the Prime Minister was but beyond that I knew nothing about government and the effects it had on me. I knew about starving children in Africa they were shown on a commercial on TV and I always felt so bad thinking of them, however I did not know about the starving kids in my own community nor the organizations that needed volunteers for support. My take away is that yes I learnt how to be a good citizen however I knew nothing of being proactive or seek knowledge and ask questions of why, how, where, what can we……There is a difference now in the curriculum especially on social justice topics that our young people are yearning to learn more and make stands on issues that are important to them. Times have changed, children and kids have changed, social media is now a big player of awareness which can sometimes be skewed. When I think of the curriculum now and the work I have done with it as a fourth year middle years student I stew with the idea that we want to teach our students to be more critical learners and as a future teacher this becomes more of a facilitator role than a dictatorship role. The idea that curriculum wants to create more engaged citizens but combined with becoming justice orientated. I see this because during most of my classes that I have taken over the past year have had a ton of precedence on social justice topics. Every school and every city may have different view of what social justice topics are to be taught in their school, therefore curriculum as a sense of place has an essential role on what and how we are teaching our students.
In the Saskatchewan Curriculum under constructing understanding through inquiry learning it they suggest that they want to “provide students with opportunities to build knowledge, abilities and inquiry habits of mind that lead to deeper understanding of their world and human experience.” They go on to suggest that this can be achieved by using compelling questions formulated by “teachers and students, to motivate and guide inquiries into topics and issues related to curriculum content and outcomes.” I question this in some ways as this could be based on a bias?
In conclusion towards what type of citizens curriculum wants to produce is based on the sense of place, to be inquiry thinkers and to engage in social justice conversation, again loosing sight on what being a participatory citizen looks like. I am left feeling confused on why all three variations of curriculum could not be taught in all types and levels of curriculum?