Well, who would have thought?

There I was, asking a simple Maths question to challenge the Facebook masses.

And challenge the masses I did, judging from the kazillions of responses.

“What’s the question?” you ask.

Here ’tis . . .

6÷2(1+2)=?????????

ANSWER IT!

Is the answer 9, or is it 1?

There are strong feelings on both sides. Where do YOU stand on this important issue?

BUT, importantly, if there is some confusion in the teaching ranks (and others, too!) about such a seemingly straight-forward question as this, WHAT HOPE HAVE OUR STUDENTS OF GETTING IT RIGHT?

Now, I’m prepared to enter a discussion in favour of either answer. But the truth is, I’m quite certain that I KNOW the correct answer, whereas many others are — well — just a little less certain.

My main point, however, is that a curriculum that creates uncertainty about such a fundamental thing as BOMDAS or BODMAS (or BEDMAS, as some would have it!) is a curriculum that needs to be fixed. And NOT by the very maths geniuses that created the uncertainty. Rather, by those of us who want our kids to enjoy maths, to be fascinated by maths, to LOVE solving that equation, to actually ENJOY vulgar fractions.

Oh, by the way . . . what IS your answer to the question?????