Maths is for everyone. Our Aboriginal Health Practitioners in training, who are learning how to calculate medication doses, are proving this every day.
The students in our third intake for the year have been busy with their Medication Calculations block. This involves converting between units of measurement, applying simple algebra formulas and calculating medication doses.
Often students will say such things as, ‘I’m not good at maths, I don’t even know my times tables’. Another common idea is that maths is difficult and boring. It is, therefore, no surprise that many students have had negative experiences with maths at school. Research tells us that mathematical anxiety and related stress blocks development, and creates barriers to learning. Current research in the field states:
Rapidity (speed) doesn’t have a precise relationship to intelligence. What is important is to deeply understand numbers and their relations to each other. This is where intelligence lies. The fact of being quick or slow is really irrelevant
(Professor Jo Boaler 2015, Fluency Without Fear).
Everyone can succeed in maths. It is not about being quick at recalling maths facts, it is about developing an understanding of how numbers work. Primary Health Practitioners Farron, Jasmen, Ronelle, Lucian, Mathew, Robert, Raymond, Teleigha and Dulcie are demonstrating this. They have overcome negative feelings about maths and worked hard at understanding how numbers work.
Our LLN educators have had the pleasure of seeing students who have previously hated maths actually enjoying the satisfaction of accomplishing tricky mathematical calculations.
Maths reveals its secrets only to those who approach it with confidence, perseverance and positivity. Good luck to our Primary Health Practitioners as they near the end of their Medication Calculations block. Keep up the hard work and it will pay off!