In math class, there could be concerns with the phrasing of word problems. If there were EAL students in the class, and they didn’t understand one of the terms in the question, then it could make the difference if they were to get the answer right or wrong. Just like that math professor was telling us during lecture today. The one time there was a student who failed her math test (or got one of the questions wrong, I forget which) and one of the questions had to do with a circus and well she didn’t know circus jargon so she got the question wrong. The math professor in class today also talked about how differently the Inuit people were doing math. It wasn’t a wrong way of doing it, but it was just different than what the western, European way of math was like. Aspects of mathematics that could be discriminating would be the underrepresentation of different cultures and different students, as well as not being inclusive enough in its language so that all students would be able to understand it. As I was growing up and taking math in school, the course usually wasn’t oppressive/ discriminating towards me, but I could see how it could negatively impact other students.

One of the ways that Inuit mathematics challenge Eurocentric ideas is with their base-20 numeral system. This numeral system is totally different than the Eurocentric base-10 numeral system, and it still works for the Inuit people which shows how they’re challenging the Eurocentric way of even just counting. In Poirier’s article, she discusses how some people consider math a “universal language,” but it actually isn’t. Poirier states that “different cultures have developed different mathematical tools according to the needs and their environment, and the Inuit community is no exception”. Another way that Inuit mathematics challenges Eurocentric ways is through spatial relations. Poirier gives the example of a student who was raised by a traditionalist grandfather who didn’t send him to school. This particular student wasn’t good at the math that was being pushed through the current curriculum, but his spatial representations had been developed greatly. This shows how the Inuit community/ culture places emphasis on different aspects of mathematics. Another way that the Inuit community is challenging Eurocentric ways is through the way that their culture has developed certain aspects of mathematics to suit their needs. Such as counting, oral numeration, and sense of space.