Is Maths divisive?
Our Spotlight on Learning focus this week is our Senior Campus Maths teacher Kirsty Peterson. She believes in “showing students that they can do maths and that maths is for everyone, not just those who are gifted. I love guiding students until they reach that ‘aha’ moment where concepts start to make sense. It is important for me to show students that whilst there is usually just one correct answer there can be a number of different and equally valid methods of reaching it. I am also interested in the history and development of mathematics and like to share this with students to make sometimes abstract topics a bit more relatable and relevant.”
An eminently talented and qualified woman, Mrs Peterson studied a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Experimental Archaeology at Exeter University in the United Kingdom before continuing her studies at Plymouth Marjon University Mathematics, Economics and Commerce. She returned to Exeter University to complete her PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in Mathematics and taught at The Folkestone Academy before moving to Tasmania.
Kirsty utilises her diverse educational background in engaging her students in concepts that some students can find daunting and challenging. A report by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute in late 2018 identified maths anxiety and low confidence in one’s mathematical abilities as key factors in contributing to low engagement and participation by girls and young women in STEM fields. To have someone like Ms Peterson guiding our young people into an understanding and enjoyment of mathematics has far-reaching impacts that will continue to serve students long after they have finished their formal education with us.