In perspective

5th November 2004 at 00:00
Geography: the Global Dimension Development Education Association and Geographical Association pound;7.99 + pound;1 pp www.geography.org.uk

The Commonwealth: a Family of Nations By Liz Paren et al The Commonwealth Secretariat pound;10.50

Global issues are a part of people's lives as never before.

Television, the internet, international sport, trade and travel all bring the wider world into everyone's daily life. Recent reviews across the UK have placed the school curriculum firmly in a global context. Geography: the Global Dimension offers resources and guidance to help you incorporate global perspectives into your classes.

The booklet has been written for geography teachers and advisers to enable them to consider the value and practice of addressing the global dimension in schools. It provides excellent resources on identifying what this is and what it means to us all. For example, in "The Corner Shop Story", students look at an individual buying goods at a local shop. The account can be analysed in several ways - eg "In what ways does the storyteller place herhimself as a global citizen?"

Geography teachers can use the booklet to participate in curriculum renewal or find new ways to teach issues such as poverty reduction, food security, population movement and sustainable development. Lessons can be created that connect to pupils' lives and imaginations, and the booklet can provide renewed focus for the study of the locality as a dynamic global meeting point. It can also be used to reinvigorate the basic concepts of place and scale. This is a very useful geography resource.

Today's Commonwealth of Nations is an association of 53 countries. Its 1.8 billion citizens - about 30 per cent of the world's population - are drawn from the broadest range of faiths, races, cultures and traditions. Member states range from vast countries such as Canada to small islands such as Malta. The Commonwealth: a Family of Nations is designed to help young people understand the place of the Commonwealth in the world today, and will help many teachers with the challenge of delivering citizenship at key stage 3. It explains how the Commonwealth came into being, how it developed into what it is today, why it matters and what it does for people around the world.

The booklet illustrates the wide-ranging activities and projects undertaken across the Commonwealth. It is colourful and accessible and includes chapters on the Commonwealth's role, its members, its relationship with young people, how it works, and the Commonwealth Games. This will be an invaluable resource for those teaching citizenship.

Gavin Richards is e-learning manager at Kingsmead Community School, Wiveliscombe, Somerset

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