Facts for life

15th November 2002 at 00:00
David Mansfield assesses textbooks for citizenship

The excellent range of materials supporting the new citizenship curriculum will come as a relief to its co-ordinators and the many teachers delivering it. Despite concerns that citizenship can only really be taught through school ethos and practical participation, the subject is here to stay.

An array of materials is available at key stage 3 and 4. Most, if not all, can be adapted for use in citizenship modules within PSE or humanities courses. Having audited their existing curriculum, schools will look at meeting their legal requirements with a series of new stand-alone courses and enrichment of the old staples, then they will select the textbooks that help them best.

How to select?

* First decide whether citizenship will be delivered discretely or within existing courses.

* Will existing books suffice or are new ones needed?

* How much support and guidance is required? Some of the textbooks are more systematic than others.

* Check the structure of the textbooks. Will they simply serve as course outlines or will they extend students?

* Review the content. Do they offer a broad-based PSE style of course or are they more narrowly focused? Look at the ability level.

* Assess the learning activities. Are they challenging, comprehensive and fun? Do they extend citizenship beyond the classroom? Can the work be managed by non-specialists and by cover-staff?

National curriculum: citizenship

www.nc.uk.net

www.dfes.gov.ukcitizenship

For those with learning difficulties

www.nc.uk.netld

Education for sustainable development materials and curriculum

www.nc.uk.netesd

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority schemes of work for KS34:

www.standards.dfes.gov.ukschemes

The Institute for Citizenship produces three free KS4 citizenship resources. The first is on economic citizenship and subsequent resources, which are sent free to schools, covers employment and consumer issues.

Additional copies can be downloaded from the IfC website.

Tel: 020 7241 7414

Email: education@citizen.org.uk

www.citizen.org.uk

Association for Citizenship Teaching

Tel: 020 7367 0510

Email: info@teachingcitizenship.org.uk

www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk

Citizenship Foundation

Tel: 020 7367 0500

Email: info@citfou.org.uk

www.citfou.org.uk

Get Global! Assessing Active Global Citizenship

Tel: 020 7561 7561

Email: getglobal@actionaid.org.uk

http:oxfam.org.ukcoolplanetteachersglobcitidownloadsggleaflet.pdf

Useful contacts

Channel 4 citizenship resources Tel: 08701 246 444

www.channel4.comcitizenship

www.channel4.comlearningshop

TITLE

ACTIVATE!

KS3

Institute for Citizenship Nelson Thornes

www.nelsonthornes.com

COMPONENTS

* Three textbooks for Year 7, 8 and 9, pound;6 each. z Teacher Starter File, pound;46.

* Photocopiable Resource Support Pack, pound;35.

* CD-Rom (to be published).

* Online case studies on refugees, football and e-commerce, pound;103.

STRUCTURE

The Teacher Starter File is a comprehensive introduction covering initial auditing, integration of citizenship into PSHE, assessment and inclusion. Each of the three full-colour books has 10 chapters packed with source material, examples and imaginative learning tasks. The ResourceSupport Pack has extension and support material, exercises, writing frames and charts to support the main text.

CONTENT

Each student book looks at a dimension of citizenship: local, national and global. Detailed material is often used to avoid simplistic responses.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

A good range of individual tasks and group activities that are accessible to all abilities, but contain challenging material to stretch more able students. For example, there is an interesting, yet complex activity on managing a local government budget. Excellent use of role-plays and learning games. This series forces students to interact with key issues, in an accessible way.

VERDICT

A cleverly constructed series that's well researched and easy to use. It is open to a wide range of uses within discrete courses or as a support to PSE. A worthwhile purchase.

TITLE

UNDERSTANDING CITIZENSHIP

By Tony Thorpe

KS3

Citizenship Foundation Hodder amp; Stoughton

www.hodderheadline.co.uk

COMPONENTS

Three textbooks, pound;6.99.

* Teacher's resource pack, pound;40.(Not all available for review.)

A complete KS3 course. The approach is less systematic than other series, so the textbooks can be used as citizenship units within existing PSE courses. The text is simply written, with a clear explanation of key words, making the books accessible to the full range of abilities.

STRUCTURE

The content includes more general PSE units on, for example, drugs, sex and relationships, parenting, and part-time work, as well as the central citizenship themes. The material is grounded in students' experiences.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

A fair range of discussion questions and written tasks is offered on each unit. Think-boxes are used to focus students on the key issues.

VERDICT

A well produced series that focuses on the key issues and is presented in an accessible format.

TITLE

THIS IS...CITIZENSHIP

By Terry Fiehn

KS3

John Murray

www.johnmurray.co.uk

COMPONENTS

Two textbooks, pound;8.99.

* Two teacher's resource book, pound;25 each.

STRUCTURE

The two textbooks can be used flexibly across KS3 to allow staff to pick and choose units. The resource book provides adequate guidance for classroom use and some useful extension activities. The format is bright and well illustrated with drawings, charts and a broad range of source information.

CONTENT

Each book looks at the same six broad areas of citizenship and is enquiry-focused around a key question, such as "How does politics work?", "What is news?" or "Can you change the world?"

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

A wide range of creative tasks and group activities. Some excellent ideas on extending lessons beyond the classroom.

A well thought-out, tightly written series that's easy to use and has plenty of interesting exercises. This is a useful text for unit work or whole-course delivery.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP KEY STAGE 3

Career Productions

www.career-productions.co.uk

COMPONENTS

All-in-one file, pound;75.

STRUCTURE

A comprehensive pack with planning and assessment matrices that are complex, but of a high quality and which come with full guidance. The format is generally well thought out, but difficult to follow in places. There are 26 units of work, each with clear learning outcomes, planning instructions and links. The activity plans are detailed and varied, supporting differentiation and accompanied by clear activity and information sheets for photocopying.

CONTENT

A wide range of topics covers rights and responsibilities, community, democracy, and government. Public finance is well covered as is the law, police, courts, mass media and public opinion. Teachers are able to pick their own route through the material over three years.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Learning activities are sensible and rich in resources. Many boxes and tables are provided for group work. The photocopied material - no matter how inspired - will lack impact, so additional resources will be required. Activities are rooted in school life and are pupil-centred and accessible.

VERDICT

A safe bet. Initially its presentation is complex, but, for the diligent, it is a reliable and very flexible way of delivering citizenship. Watch the photocopying bill though.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP STUDIES FOR OCR: GCSE SHORT COURSE

By Tony Thorpe, David Marsh

KS4

Hodder amp; Stoughton

OCRCitizenship Foundation

www.hodderheadline.co.uk

COMPONENTS

Pupil book, pound;10.99

* Teacher's Resource, pound;25.

STRUCTURE

A tightly produced, all-in-one textbook with lots of examples and clearly structured text.

CONTENT

All the key elements of the citizenship curriculum are covered.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

This book is peppered with question boxes that test comprehension and understanding. Coursework ideas are also included.

VERDICT

A well-rounded, competent textbook that will ensure full coverage. Students should enjoy using this course.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP STUDIES FOR AQA GCSE SHORT COURSE

By Mike Mitchell et al

KS4

Hodder amp; Stoughton

www.hodderheadline.co.uk

COMPONENTS

Pupil book, pound;10.99

* Teacher Resource book, pound;25.

STRUCTURE

A text-rich book that invites individual reading beyond the classroom and will be helpful for non-specialists. Good use is made of glossary, information and key-issues boxes.

CONTENT

All key elements of the citizenship curriculum are covered, looking at rights and responsibilities, decision-making, the law, media, international relations and trade.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Questions are integrated into the units to focus teaching. There are fewer direct questions and the teacher will need to supervise.

VERDICT

A well-designed textbook with lots of helpful learning devices to catch the students' interest.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP TODAY For Edexcel GCSE Short Course

By Jenny Wales et al

KS4

CollinsEducation

www.collinseducation.com

COMPONENTS

Pupil book, pound;9.99.

* Teacher's file with CD-Rom, pound;39.99.

STRUCTURE

The layout is lively and colourful, using boxes and bullet-points to summarise the information succinctly. The format is elegant, if somewhat formulaic, providing spreads on each unit, with headings denoting the learning objectives. Coloured boxes are used for guided discussion work, individual activities, and key terms. The teacher file is thorough and offers step-by-step support for the non-specialist.

CONTENT

The three key themes of human rights; power, politics and the media; and the global village are divided into sub-themes and then individual units.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Each unit provides a "check understanding box" of mostly comprehension questions, as well as a "find out" section that encourages further research and application, and questions for discussion in groups or a whole class.

VERDICT

A useful, comprehensive textbook. Well written with a fine teacher's guide.

TITLE

GCSE CITIZENSHIP FOR AQA

By Joan Campbell, Sue Patrick

KS4

Heinemann

www.heinemann.co.uk

COMPONENTS

Student textbook, pound;11.99.

* Teacher's Resource Pack, pound;51.99.

* Evaluation Pack, pound;11.99 STRUCTURE

An introduction on being a good citizen is followed by three sections; the fourth is a guide to coursework and examination techniques. Excellent use of well selected and striking full-colour photographs provokes discussion. A simple two-column format aids accessibility and makes the text easy to follow without losing depth.

CONTENT

The themes covered are school, work and local community; national and European citizenship and global citizenship.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Source material is well used, with longer extracts and images to elicit analysis and understanding from students. Check-out boxes and case studies allow for extension work and well-crafted activities boxes provide opportunities for written and oral work.

VERCICT

A very good textbook. Well grounded in pupil experience and contains original material. Pupils should find it challenging, practically and academically.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP GCSE (or KS4 CITIZENSHIP)

KS4

Letts Educational

www.letts-education.com

COMPONENTS

A stand-alone, photocopiable resource pack, pound;75.

* Student's Book, pound;5.

* Teaching Resources, pound;20.

STRUCTURE

A very structured resource that divides the course into five units, each of two modules. A revision module with practice questions is included. Each module has detailed lesson plans, factsheets, worksheets and end-of-module questions, with additional answer sheets to encourage peer and self-assessment.

CONTENT

The units cover: law and rights; society; business and people; freedom of information, and our role in the world. Graphic quality is limited and there is no colour.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Most activities flow from factsheet material, but useful websites are included in the plans and homework activities are well thought-out. The plans encourage interactive group and project work. Graded worksheets are available to ensure differentiation.

VERDICT

Formulaic, but easy to follow and set up. However, further resources will be needed to supplement the monochrome diet and alleviate the need to photocopy.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP KEY STAGE 4

Career Productions

www.career-productions.co.uk

COMPONENTS

An all-in-one-file, pound;75.

The format is flexible and similar to the activities in the KS3 pack. The posters are a useful visual addition but, graphically, are a little uninspiring.

STRUCTURE

The topics covered include making law, Europe, the economy, globalisation and sustainable development, as well as communication and social change.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

The learning activities are imaginative and thorough and the pack is a reliable and cost-effective way of delivering the curriculum. Well directed research tasks are interspersed with more basic activities.

VERDICT

The visual impact is limited and supplementary materials will be needed. It is, however, a good basis for a PSE or citizenship course.

TITLE

CITIZENSHIP FOR YOU For GCSE Short Course of all three boards

KS4

Institute for Citizenship

Nelson Thornes

www.citizen.org.uk

www.nelsonthornes.com

COMPONENTS

Student textbook, pound;11.

* Online case studies, pound;5 plus VAT.

* Teacher support pack with photocopiable worksheet, additional activities and lesson notes, pound;30 plus VAT.

STRUCTURE

A full-colour book that is well designed and illustrated. Units are presented on spreads and have activities in a very digestible format.

CONTENT

The main sections are: government (law-making, shaping and enforcing); roles, rights and responsibilities; active citizenship. Each section concludes with a useful set of revision exercises.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Each unit has discussion questions and written tasks for individual or groups. The scope of the source material is impressive and accessible to the full ability range.

VERDICT

A good, concise textbook with well thought-out learning activities.

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