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Dr. Petro Erasmus

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Dr Petro Erasmus is the creator of Mathematics Whartels .


Dr Petro Erasmus is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the North West University (Mafikeng Campus). Her main research interests are neuro-developmental disorders (Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD), maths achievement, Resilience and Emotional intelligence and career guidance. She has a private practice (Child and Family Guidance and Development Centre) in Mafikeng. The Centre offers Individual- Family and Couples- Adolescent and Children's'- counselling and therapies; Psychological Assessments; Workshops; Remedial and Extra lessons.

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The Maths Whartels Project

Poor maths achievement is a global problem and maths is a powerful gatekeeper – the door to coursework (qualifications) in science, medicine, technology and engineering.


Research has indicated that at American Middle school two thirds of learners will fall behind grade level in their maths classes. In South Africa 77% of learners take Maths literacy which does not give entry to any course in Engineering, Technology or Science at post-matric level.


  • The results of the 2014 ANA’s indicate that only 65% of Grade 3 learners achieved 50% and more in mathematics.

  • Only thirty five percent (35%) of Grade 6 learners achieved 50%.

  • For the Grade 9 learners it is a shocking 3%.

Dr Erasmus's research interest on predictors of maths achievement in the South African context started in 2000 with her Masters studies to design a remedial programme in Maths for Setswana speaking / second language learners. She has 30 years’ experience in teaching remedial maths for learners from pre-school up to Grade 11. Her PhD studies focused on study orientation in maths and emotional intelligence as predictors of maths achievement. The literature review indicated that metacognition is one of the most important concepts in contemporary research of critical thinking. The relationship between the different fields of study orientation (maths anxiety, attitude, problem-solving skills, study milieu etc.) is confirmed by various studies. Study orientation is one of the key predictors of maths achievement. The role of the family and school in poor maths achievement is also stressed. Research finding also focuses on the role of resilience in maths achievement. The relationship between mathematics anxiety, memory capabilities and lowered academic performance has been validated in my PhD studies and is also the focus of recent books and various articles on this topic. Current research stresses that low achieving primary school learners that are exposed to systematic training in problem solving, decision making, and self-monitoring techniques improves their maths achievement significantly.

Maths Whartels is a new creative and innovative concept for a computer game designed for primary school learners aimed at improving children’s math achievement by focusing on cognitive aspects (math concepts, metacognition and information processing) and psychological facets (maths anxiety, maths resilience, etc). By using the newest technology this program aims to facilitate self-directed learning by changing the learners mathematical mindset / thinking by including principles used in play therapy to optimize learning and understanding such as puppets / characters, board games and story-telling and thus including both LINEAR and THEME methods to improve math skills

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PhD Educational Psychology (UP)

M(Ed) Guidance and Counselling (UP)

M(Ed) Educational Guidance (Unisa)

Hons (BEd) Educ. Management (Unisa)

Hons (BEd) School Guidance and Counselling (Unisa)

Dipl. Spec. Educ. (Unisa)

BA Ed (School Guidance)(UP)

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Certificate Course in Narrative Career Counselling

EQ – Internationally accredited training

Introduction to Forensic Psychology

Developmental touch Therapy

Advanced Play Therapy

Play Therapy Training

Filial Touch Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for panic disorder, worry and generalized anxiety disorders

16 PF®5 – National Accreditation training

REBT – Primary Practicum in Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Presented by the Albert Ellis Institute of South Africa

4th Annual Online Autism Conference

Fundamental Training in Eriksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

Ego state Therapy – Presented by the Milton H. Erickson Institute of SA

Autism – Presented by Ernie Els Autism Association

Solution Focused Therapy

REBT – Advanced Practicum in Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy –Presented by the Albert Ellis Institute of South Africa

Assessment Accommodations

Neuroscience Conference 2015 – University of Pretoria

KAPP – The art of supervision workshop

SPSS – Statistics workshop

Solution Focused

Memory and learning in Children and adolescents

Eye Movement Integration Therapy

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Attention and Concentration difficulties


Behavioural Problems

Bereavement Counselling


Career Counselling and assessments

Conflict Handling

Couples Counselling

Discipline problems


Developmental Delays

Divorce counselling


Emotional Intelligence

Family Counselling


Individual Counselling

Life Skills programs

Learning Problems

Maths Anxiety

Metacognition & Memory

Narrative Career Counselling

Parenting Plans

Parenting Skills

Psycho-legal assessments

Perceptual Problems

Reading Problems

Play Therapy

Psycho-Social Evaluation

Reading problems

Remedial lessons

Self Esteem, Study Skills and Study Methods

Trauma counseling

Contact Dr Petro Erasmus


3 Everest Drive

Riviera Park



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