n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - A geometrical introduction to the method of completing the square

Volume 2005, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


The present Grade 11 Mathematics syllabus (Department of Education 2002a) and the new FET National Curriculum Statement (Department of Education 2002b) refer to three methods for solving a quadratic equation. In the FET National Curriculum Statement this is found under Learning Outcome 2: Patterns, Functions and Algebra, and the assessment standard on quadratic equations. Grade 10 learners cover the method of solving certain quadratic equations by the so-called factorisation technique. This implies that learners in Grade 11 have acquired the knowledge and abilities to solve quadratic equations by the factorisation technique. The new methods that they have to be taught are the method of completing the square and the use of the quadratic formula - and the latter itself is derived from the method of completing the square.

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