Menu for change

16th October 1998 at 01:00
Making a Meal of It Pounds 13.95. The Clothes Line Pounds 13.95. Sowing and Harvesting Pounds 3.25. Oxfam, co BEBC, PO Box 1496, Parkstone, Dorset BH12 3YD. Buying into the 21st Century. By Living Earth. Hodder Stoughton Pounds 16.99. New Departures By Alison Stancliffe. Council for Education in World. Citizenship Pounds 10.

It is refreshing to see publications raising environmental issues in an original and challenging way across the full age range. Oxfam's photo-setactivity packs are designed for seven to 11-year-olds: Making a Meal of It examines issues surrounding food and hunger; The Clothes Line focuses on cotton and clothes production. Both offer beautiful colour photographs and a wealth of background information. They also contain photocopiable materials, quizzes, worksheets and evidence statements based on the photographs. The section on curriculum links is detailed and shows what a useful resource these packs can be.

The new edition of Sowing and Harvesting is designed to encourage children to under-stand that hunger is not the result of being lazy or having bad luck, but is often an historical, structural process built into the modern world's economy.

Buying into the 21st Century is a photocopiable resource for 11 to 14-year-olds studying personal and social education, cross-curricular themes and a number of national curriculum subjects. Most of the 73 pages are single A4 photocopiable task sheets, divided into six units, each with teacher's notes and lists of useful addresses.

The material is both interesting and challenging. Extension tasks encourage differentiation, but, more importantly, pupils are challenged in their value positions, especially in the final unit. The only criticism of an otherwise excellent resource is the pack's recurrent use of the term "the product life cycle" to describe the process of raw material extraction through manufacturing to final disposal. This will confuse students who may, at GCSE and A-level, discover the term being defined in a quite different way in the study of marketing.

New Departures is aimed at the A-levelGNVQ cohort. The pack has six case studies, concentrating on strategies for sustainable tourism. Detail is provided of an "all-inclusive" resort in St Lucia; tourism in developing Gambia; visitor management in the Surrey Hills; new tourism opportunities in Ashford and Lille thanks to Eurostar, and tourism in the fragile environments of Brazil.

The wide range of the cases demonstrates the common challenges faced by regions as tourism grows on the back of rising real incomes and falling transport costs. Nevertheless, in common with other similar resources, this material would require considerable mediation from the teacher.

However, all the material reviewed here offers deeper insights and enjoyable learning activities that can only aid the next generation's views on ethical and environmental issues.

David Lines is lecturer in education and a member of the Education, Environment and Economy Group at the Institute of Education, University of London

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