Functional mathematics

by Dr Rhonda Faragher

This article is available in the following formats

Click to download


Many parents of children with Down syndrome find themselves in a conversation with school staff about the need to learn functional mathematics. But just what is ‘functional’ mathematics in our rapidly changing, technological world?

Dr Rhonda Faragher is an expert in mathematics education with a particular interest in teaching learners with Down syndrome. She is also an internationally recognised expert in inclusive education. She has been a long standing member of the DSA board.

“At school, a general principle to follow in deciding what to teach is to teach students what others in their year level would be learning, with adjustments. These adjustments should include the use of calculators and visuals. For example, having a number line, a visual representation of numbers, reinforces the key concept of where numbers are in relation to each other.”


Bonus content

Dr Rhonda Faragher presented a draft of new guidelines for Educating Learners with Down Syndrome at the WDSD2019 event at the United Nations.

Keep your eye on the DSi website for more updates on the new evidence-based guidelines

Share this article with your school

Tell us what you think by commenting below