1 School of Mathematics "Acad. Nikola Obreshkov", Burgas (BULGARIA)
2 Medical University of Varna (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 103-108
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0066
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Background: Young people need a broad spectrum of competencies to get personal fulfillment, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, employability, and social inclusion. Increasing the level of key competencies is at the heart of the European Education Area (EEA) – a space where everybody should receive the best possible education.
Incorporating mathematics into education is a crucial aspect of this process. Although mathematics may seem abstract, it plays a pivotal role in constructing the essential EEA key competencies.

Mathematics serves as the common language employed by various sciences, including medicine. Throughout history, mathematics and medicine in Europe have followed interconnected developmental trajectories that can be traced back to the ancient Pythagorean School (circa 586-495 BC). Today, they are separate scientific and educational fields. Nevertheless, the societal demand to foster key employability skills alongside professional competencies necessitates a merging of these distinctly separated domains. The key mathematical and digital competencies acquired during secondary education need to be effectively transferred and sustained throughout advanced medical or health education.

The aim is twofold: 1) to promote the importance of mathematics and related disciplines in the development of key competencies essential for every health and medical professional; 2) to present a diagnostic model for evaluating key competencies on the topic of “Similarities”.
The model has been created and applied for educational purposes to support students. The proposed model had an impact on teaching approaches in the field of social medicine at the Medical University of Varna, leading to a beneficial "side effect".

Material and methods: A didactic intervention with 8 phases, including an educational model with interactive assessment using the software GeoGebra. The participants were 52 students from two classes of the VIII grade (2021/2022 year, second term) at the School of Mathematics, Burgas. The students were individually assessed after every “Similarity” lesson (5 times) according to 2 competency criteria (knowledge and skills to solve tasks, and comparisons among the students' results). The participants were preliminarily informed that every lesson will finish with an interactive test (no multiple-choice questions) to avoid stress and to improve their concentration and abstract reasoning.

Results: The evaluation outcomes increased gradually from the first to the fourth test. The fifth test was a summarising one and the results show that nearly 96% of the students solved the tasks from 1 to 10. The final task 11 has a success rate of 100%. These excellent results supported the initial hypothesis that the application of the developed diagnostic model led to an increase in the creativity, concentration, and motivation of the students to learn and gain competencies.
Conclusion: The proposed model presents a valuable opportunity to equip young individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary for their future endeavors. It is crucial to maintain the core mathematical competencies established during secondary education throughout the university level. The accumulated empirical and research experience has determined that a comprehensive competency profile for medical professionals should consist of two equally significant components, namely key/general and profession-specific competencies. Mathematics and medicine are sisters by nature.
Key competencies, education, mathematics, medicine, Bulgaria.