Pop the “maths anxiety” bubble

An approach to support nursing students to self-manage anxiety while studying drug calculation


  • Hua Dai Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland




dyslexia, dyscalculia, anxiety management, triune brain, Psychosynthesis BFM map, maths anxiety


This is a report on an informal action research undertaken between 2013 and 2014 to find solutions to support tertiary nursing students experiencing anxiety while studying drug calculation. The literature identifies traditional “maths anxiety” and modern-day specific categorisations of “dyslexia” and “dyscalculia” yet offers no clear solution on how to support students. I explored the constructive-developmental perspective of human development, the conception of the triune brain, and the psychosynthesis conceptual map of body-feelings-mind, in order to develop an approach to help students navigate their daily experience on campus and consciously express their will to succeed. These techniques proved to be successful, evidenced in the overwhelmingly positive feedback from both students and maths tutors. This article invites colleagues within the broader ATLAANZ community to adapt and apply this approach in their practice to support students with anxiety to succeed while studying.

Author Biography

  • Hua Dai, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland

    Learning Advisor |  Senior Lecturer | Learning Centre



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