Gale’s presentation on numeracy and curriculum made me think differently about mathematics as a subject. I remember when I was in elementary school we learned the basics to math. Math was just another class that needed to be taken. I was never great at math but I could get the right answer from time to time by following the teacher’s instructions. There was often a textbook the class followed with answers in the back. Often when I didn’t understand I would look in the back of the textbook for the answer because many math teachers would make me feel dumb for not being able to come up with the correct answer. Math would often make me frustrated if I could not get the correct answer. Either I got math or I didn’t there was no in between. I’ve had high school teachers in the past expect us to already know the material s/he was supposed to be teaching us. It is hard to grasp a new concept if the teacher doesn’t explain how to arrive at the answer. Gale’s presentation made me think of math in a different way than I was taught it. Gale gave me hope for future mathematics educators.

Inuit mathematics challenged Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it on so many levels. For instance, the base-ten system is an Eurocentric idea but Inuit mathematics uses the base-twenty system. Gale explained to us that the reason behind this is inside the igloo it is often very warm; therefore, the Inuit people remove their clothing to cool off. The Inuit peoples would sit in a circle inside the igloo, therefore, their feet and hands would be in front of them. Thus, it made more sense to use all ten toes and all ten fingers to count creating the base-twenty system instead of the base-ten system based on only fingers. Another way Inuit mathematics challenged the Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it is through the way Inuit people used oral language rather than pen and paper. Indigenous people often told stories that were passed down through generations, which passed knowledge from person to person. In the math classes I was in we had textbooks, whereas Inuit mathematics would not have. Another way Inuit mathematics challenged Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn was through the multiple worlds for each number. In different Indigenous languages, there are several words for numbers or words that mean a number and a little bit. In Eurocentric ideas, there are specific words for each number and no word is a number and a little bit. Eurocentric ideas are spot on where other languages are approximations. There are several ways that Inuit mathematics challenges Eurocentric ideas about the purpose of mathematics and the way we learn it, which I did not know before the readings and lecture.