Algebra has been recognised for some time as a difficult topic for many secondary school students. Discovering the best way(s) of introducing algebra into the students’ experience and fostering understanding has stimulated much discussion and research.

An understanding of the concept of variable is fundamental to further student progress in algebra. The paper of Graham and Thomas describes a study using a module of work based on a graphic calculator which provided an environment where students could experience some aspects of variables and hence begin to build an understanding of them. The graphic calculator proved to be an instrument for achieving a significant improvement in student understanding, something which has often proved difficult previously.

Authors: ALAN T. GRAHAM and MICHAEL O.J. THOMAS

Published in

*Educational Studies in Mathematics ***41: **265–282, 2000.

© 2000 *Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.*