30th March 2001 at 01:00
CITIZEN GUIDES: What Happens in a Law Court. By Dan Lambeth. What Happens in a Town Hall. By Simon Adams.

What Happens at an Election. By Simon Adams. What Happens in the Stock Exchange. By Soraya Moeng. Watts pound;11.99 each.

It's always healthy to examine the enigmatic institutions by which the country is run. This series throws some light on arcane practices and provides young readers, aged between 10 and 14, with insights into the society they are soon to inherit.

The books all work in a similar way. They start with a brief but effective guide to historical context. Tracing the computerised dealings of the international markets back to the activities of brokers in 17th-century coffee houses is helpful and gives perspective.

So, too, wit the intricacies of the legal system; hearing how courts take some of their language as well as their formative ideas from customs and developments in Norman England is to understand why things are as they are and how they might be reformed.

The final section makes international comparisons. Our ways of doing things are contrasted with those in Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan.

In between, the books emphasise the "what happens" of their titles - we are taken through an election and a company flotation.

A discerning mixture of photographs and diagrams, with glossaries that will inform teachers and pupils, complete the books. They are not that spectacular but they fulfil their informative purpose well.

Tom Deveson

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now