Business studies

16th June 2000 at 01:00
GCSE Business Studies Workbook. By Neil Denby and Peter Thomas. Hodder amp; Stoughton pound;4.99, teacher's book pound;29.99

When is a textbook not a textbook? When it is a workbook. A subtle distinction, some might argue, but the difference is quite apparent in this case,because the GCSE Business Studies Workbook unashamedly offers only the barest "content"; instead,it supports learning through questions, which areboth structured and differentiated.

The 10 sections are designed to cover all the major GCSE syllabuses, and a final one offers advice on coursework and examinations. Each section contains topic sheets which may include definitions, facts, formulae, diagrams, accounts, lists of advantages and disadvantages and so on, as appropriate. The activity sheets which follow ask questions based on one or more of the task sheets.Some could be set for homework, while others might favour the classroom, where teacher guidance is more readily to hand.

Many of the activities take the form of case studies and are often progressive, in he sense that while the characters remain the same, the scenarios becomemore complex.

Thus the sole trader Angie Sharp eventually takes on a partner, Adam Flatt, later on they form a limited company, and so on. Differentiated questions are denoted byone, two or three chevrons depending on their difficulty, but there is no explicit reference as to which might be foundation orhigher tier.

The teacher's bookexplores each topic ingreater depth, as well as offering suggested answers. Given the experience of both authors as examiners, it is unsurprising to find detailson mark schemes, sample model answers togetherwith an examiner's commentary, and hints on coursework. In additionthere is a list of resources,and useful advice on the teaching and organisationof topics.

Whether, in the final analysis, the market is sufficiently large to supporta workbook in addition to a text remains to be seen, but for those departments sufficiently well endowed,this resource is certainly worth serious consideration.

David Lines

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