Thinking back on my schooling experiences with math, they are all pretty negative thoughts. I remember that in elementary school especially, we were really only taught one way of math. If you did not understand it, then it sucks to be you. I was NEVER able to understand math, I’m still not able to understand it and I think that is mainly because of how I was taught in elementary schools. Thinking back to how I was taught math, I really remember doing Mad Minutes. You had one minute to answer as many math questions as possible. Once you completed the mad minute and got a certain percentage on it, your name tag would move up a level on the “Mad Minute Mountain”. My name only got to about the third level, where everyone else’s was on roughly the seventh. I remember going home and crying because of how bad I was at math and the rest of the class could also see that. When the rest of the class would move up a level, they would be doing their mad minute on a new type of math (multiplication, division, etc.) so I never got to practice those types of math as I was never able to move up, which pulled me farther and farther behind in math. As I got into high school, I noticed that the teachers were much more willing to help me with my math. If we failed a test, they would put us in a separate room for a week of math with a teacher and we would just go over that unit again until we understood it. The teachers would work with us one on one and they would explain the math to us in as many different ways as they could until we understood it. In elementary, it was taught one way and high school was taught in a MUCH better way.
I was not really sure that there was even different ways to teach math around the world until I came to university. We discussed some of these ideas in MATH 101, but I did not think too much of it at that time. In Eurocentric math, the numeral system is in base 10, whereas the Inuit’s use a base 20 numeral system. In the Inuit culture, they have a system where they do math orally, whereas in the Western culture, we do math in a written form. This would obviously cause some issues and complications if we were to switch from oral math to written. The Inuit also measure differently than we would in the Eurocentric culture. The Inuit measure using their body parts such as arms, feet, fingers, etc. whereas we would use measuring tools.