Study merits award

23rd October 1998 at 01:00
MANAGING ENVIRONMENTS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND. By John Chaffey. Hodder amp; Stoughton. Pounds 12.99.

Geography 16-19 lifted case studies to altogether new levels of authority and usefulness. John Chaffey's book continues this development by providing no less than 10 sets of studies, drawn from all parts of the British Isles and all important aspects of A-level syllabuses.

The book deservedly won the Silver Award at this year's Geographical Association textbook evaluation and should find a place in every A-level resource centre.

The studies are grouped under the broad headings of physical and human geography, though clearly the two overlap. Each section begins with a general discussion of management issues in that particular field, summarised by a box of key ideas. Then come the case studies, which are skilfully chosen, detailed and illustrated effectively with maps and diagrams.

Essay questions and suggestions for student activities including fieldwork projects end each section. Altogether there are 35 studies, from three to a dozen pages in length, a rich mine of information for students and teachers alike and usable in many ways.

Most teachers will probably select from the studies and use them with case studies they have already developed themselves. They can, however, be re-grouped. For example, the studies of management issues in Glencoe and the Malvern Hills form a useful pair; the seven Irish examples could be built into a general course on Ireland. Stepping outside the book, the section on new industry in western Ireland might be compared with Scotland's precariously dependent electronics heartland.

Altogether this is an excellent book, apart from its cover design, which is inexplicable and should be replaced at the first opportunity.

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