As a child math was one of my favourite subjects and even into high school I was always an average student at math, I wasn’t a math person but I wasn’t not a math person. Until I was in about grade 11, I thought of myself as someone who succeeded in math but then I had to take pre calculus 20. Now I knew this class would be tougher than my previous math classes but I thought I was up for the challenge, until my teacher taught in a way that I couldn’t understand and didn’t care to take the time to help when I asked. This is the start of my negative attitude towards math and really stopped calling myself a “math person”. I believe that the high school math paths can be very discriminatory towards students because of the notions around each math route. Students who took the workplace math were considered to be not good at math because it was said to be “easy” math, then the opposite the students who took the pre-calclus path those students were considered exceptionally smart. Right away students who thought they were not good at math took the “easier” routes, and this problem could be how the math was being presented. I did experience oppression in math classes as I got older but mostly I was hurtful to myself and they way I told myself that I wasn’t good at math anymore. I often find myself saying, “You used to be good at math, what happened?”, this continued to get worse as I had to take university math. This negative attitude to oneself, can be detrimental to one’s self esteem and confidence when asked about marks in math. Therefore, if math was presented in a way that wasn’t so right and wrong but a skill that had to be practiced then I think more students would believe that they are good or better at math then they once thought, including myself, but this is a problem I don’t see schools shifting away from this because of the given timelines in classes.

After Gale’s presentation, my thoughts shifted into thinking that math isn’t all the same and it can actually change with location and culture. Also the way different culture use math and in what ways they present it makes math not universal as most people think and that comes from the western worldview, that everyone learns like we learn and the way we learn is the best and most useful, when that is not the case. After reading Poirier’s article, this point has been clearly made. Three ways Inuit math is challenging the Eurocentric ideas of math are:

- This is the most obvious to notice right away because they are using “a base-20 numerical system”, where as traditionally we use a base-10 number system, thinking that this is they way everyone counts. We think this because we think it makes sense, but what makes sense to us may seem inefficient to others.
- Secondly, these ways are challenging because they disrupt the way we commonly teach in schools, with pen and paper, as well as reading questions from a textbook and writing the answers done, explaining step by step how we got the answer. The Inuit math does ways which we would call untraditional and often ineffective, they teach math orally, observing an elder or listening to enigmas. This oral tradition is probably something that the western worldview would not think of to teach and furthermore pass on information.
- Lastly, the way they use math it for everyday and natural life. This is often the complete opposite from our Eurocentric view because I can assume that at least once, people who take math from a western way have asked ourselves when we are going to use this math. This is from assumption unlikely with the Inuit people, because they use math, based on natural reoccurring events, such as the days in the month, it all depends on how long it takes for that natural event to occur.

There are many more way this article shows the tensions between Eurocentric ways and the ways Inuit people teach and use math, these there stuck out to me and really made me open my mind to new ways that I would have never thought even possible.