Editors: Lisa Firth and Claire Owen
Independence Educational Publishers
£5.95 (each) Pb 28pp
Issues Today is an onging series designed for younger secondary school children. Six of the more recent titles are Cloning, HIV & AIDS, Fitness, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, and Self-Harm. Each topic is introduced with a definition. The first few chapters outline core information. Ethical dilemmas, related to the topic and how the media portrays the subject, are covered in teh later chapters. Various different methods are used to engage readers - newspaper clippings, individuals' stories, pie charts, diagrams and factual information.
The vast majority of the chapters are condensed material written by third parties - one of CMF's articles appears in Cloning and other chapters are edited versions of material from myriad sources ranging from broadsheets, NHS websites and some perhaps less-reliable sources. The idea is that students learn to weigh up information that my be one-sided or biased, and learn how to come to their own conclusions. To this end, the chapters contain questions for relfection adn group discussion as well as some case scenarios.
Overall, Issues Today is a good resource as long as it is used for what it is intended - adult-facilitated discussion with young people.
Carmen Leung is a fourth-year medical student at HYMS and Rachael Pickering is a GP in York.