Global choices

9th December 1994 at 00:00
World Geography Case Studies, By Vincent Bunce, Cambridge Geography Project Pounds 8.50, 0 521 45667 3. Anyone seeking an explanation for the popularity of geography at GCSE need look no further than this book. Rarely do authors of textbooks urge their readers to enjoy their books, but here Vincent Bunce edits the contributions of a dozen or so geographers into a challenging and intriguing collection of sixteen world-wide case studies consisting of attractively displayed resource extracts, illustrated with intelligible maps, diagrams and pictures, all linked by key role plays identified at the start of each chapter.

The cases span a range of scales from local (Cambridge) to global (Tate and Lyle) drawing on material from Britain, the European Union, CIS, USA and economically developing countries. They encourage learning by enquiry, helping pupils to draft reports, investigate issues, and make decisions stemming from key questions. Teachers can recommend activities suited to the abilities of their pupils.

There is much here to gladden the hearts of those who feared national curriculum pressures would squeeze relevance and values from the geography curriculum. These case studies deal with real and vivid questions confronting today's and tomorrow's decision-makers. Political dimensions feature prominently in many of the studies.

Young people need to be concerned with issues of consumer choice, exploitation, world trade imbalances and environmental choices. This book provides access to all these and more. It represents a splendid companion volume to any of the better GCSE syllabuses and is a joy to recommend. If pupils do not find it enjoyable we should fear for the future.

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