 Written by Pat Pughe-Parry Pat Pughe-Parry
Last Updated: 18 December 2016 18 December 2016 ADHD and Maths are not great bedfellows and when I read how Wikipedia describes Quadratic Equations I am not at all surprised.

In mathematics, a quadratic equation is a univariate polynomial equation of the second degree. A general quadratic equation can be written in the form: where x represents a variable or an unknown, and a, b, and c are constants with a Ã¢â€° 0. (If a = 0, the equation is a linear equation.) The constants a, b, and c are called respectively, the quadratic coefficient, the linear coefficient and the constant term or free term. The term "quadratic" comes from quadratus, which is the Latin word for "square". Quadratic equations can be solved by factoring, completing the square, graphing, Newton's method, and using the quadratic formula

Yes, well no fine as we say in South Africa. This is as clear as mud to me. You need maths to work out the trajectory so that you land in the sea and not on the rocks!
How many of you reading this article had a clue as to why you were learning how to solve equations, do Trigonometry and memorise Pythagoras and other theorems?

I knew I had to learn English and Afrikaans to be able to communicate, History to discover my past, Geography to learn about the weather and landscape, and Biology to explore how plants, animals and humans are made and survive.

But Maths? Huh? It was fun though often quite beyond me learning to use a slide rule and log books. Having had my bonds and tables drummed into me as a child I could do arithmetic quite happily which is obviously useful when working with money.

Then came BOMDAS or BODMAS (brackets, of, multiply, divide, add, subtract) and from here onwards as long as I learned the formulae parrot fashion I was OK. Why I was doing things this way was, and largely still is, a complete and utter mystery.

How many maths educators take the time to explain why it is necessary to learn these complex formulae? Can they give practical, visual examples of how they are put into practice?

I am sure that if learners understand the "why" the "doing" will become that much easier and the pass rates will escalate.

Many learners and particularly those with ADHD are visual learners and need a picture and a context to provide the basis of learning.

I would love feedback from maths educators as to how they explain maths to their learners.

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