1. The authors perform this study in order to determine exactly by what means do nurses calculate which drug doses need to be allocated to patients on a ward.
2. The authors believe that it is possible to combine knowledge-fragment analysis and cultural practice in order to provide a more comprehensive means of education. They claim that, contrary to what is claimed in nursing practice, experienced nurses calculate doses through several proportional-reasoning strategies to provide more accurate dosages.
3. Evidence includes the actual behavior of the nurses in the field, as compared to their reports and explanations to other medical officials in the ward.
4. This evidence was gathered through ethnographic study, which is an extremely accurate and prudent way to gather this information due to the objective appraisal of the events actually seen by the researchers.
5. Since the evidence was all ethnographic, there was very little statistical analysis done; instead, the authors focused on finding trends, which was very fitting in examining the research questions.
7. There is an abundance of information provided on the students/nurses in the study, including ethnographic interviews and discussions that showed the difference between what was being presented and what was being done in practice.
8. The evidence itself is incredibly easy to follow, due to the abundance of tables and graphs, as well as the organized nature of the evidence. The ethnographic material is presented example by example, and interviews help to break up the text and present firsthand observations from participants.
9. The authors present many different teaching implications, including the ability for intuition and a dialectical approach to meanings in lieu of rote instruction in nursing practice. The ability for nurses to intuit and find their own strategies for learning.
11. The authors come from a fairly unusual perspective in education, as they believe that simple, rote instruction may not necessarily equate to 100% effectiveness in the field. Rather, mathematics has the capability to restructure the way we do work, and not the other way around. The researchers reject the idea that mathematics is totally visible within work, as they had noticed that many employees do not state that they use math often in their work.
13. There are possible research implications within this paper that could be extended from a nursing context into overall education, particularly as it pertains to math. By showing the value of intrinsic or unconventional calculation in practical settings, educators could introduce these ideas into math courses and create more effective curricula focusing on critical thinking.
14. I learned that there is a much more complex relationship between working and mathematical education practices than there was previously, especially in a medical context. The importance and utility of abstraction as a tool in medical math practice was also a new one to me.
15. Overall, I believe that the article was very well written. The authors raise many questions and explore the adequately, providing a concrete theoretical framework and performing effective ethnographic study. The important parts of the interviews and discussions encountered were included and organized in a way that was easy to read. The article also closes with many different and thought provoking questions that call for further study.
Hoyles, C., Noss, R., & Pozzi, S. (2001). Proportional reasoning in nursing practice. Journal for
Research in Mathematics Education 32(1): 4-27.