Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

AQA Business Studies AS

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

AQA Business Studies AS

Article excerpt

AQA Business Studies AS, Peter Stimpson, Steven Foden and Diane M anse 1 1, Nelson Thornes, 2008, £17.99, ISBN 9780 7487 9846 9.

This book has been produced in consultation with AQA and has an exclusive endorsement. It is part of a suite of resources, and clearly teachers would want to look at the electronic resources before making an adoption decision. These were written by a team of teachers and examiners and include teachers notes, interactive resources (including video and audio clips, dragand-drop matching exercises), sample questions with mark schemes and schemes of work.

The book has many good points:

* as would be expected from a book "exclusively endorsed by AQA", the text follows the specification very closely in terms of content and order

* each chapter outlines the learning outcomes, which is useful for lesson planning (particularly during Ofsted inspections!)

* chapters include several useful features - key terms, examiners' tips, discussion points, activities and case studies

* key terms reinforce student understanding which is important for assessment objective A0 1 (knowledge and understanding)

* the discussion points are useful suggestions for developing a topic in more detail when using the text in class

* the activity exercises are useful for developing student skills of analysis and application

* the case studies provide exam type practice questions for students to attempt

* the examination skills section at the end is very useful, clearly outlining the assessment objectives and giving examples of how these can be achieved and how examiners allocate marks.

Constructive criticism

Despite these good points, there are several areas in which the book could be improved. First, though this is more a criticism of the AQA specification than the textbook itself, some topics are not covered within one chapter. For example, budgeting is split between chapter 14 (setting budgets) and chapter 16 (using budgets). This seems highly illogical but reflects the fact that AQA splits budgeting between Unit 1 (Planning and financing a business) and Unit 2 (Managing a business).

Another criticism I have is that Nelson Thornes publish separate books for the AS and A2 parts of the course. Obviously this increases the expense to schools, purely (it would appear) in the interests of making more money for the publishers. However given that most of the exam boards now seem to be in exclusive arrangements with publishers, I think that this criticism is legitimately directed at both organisations. …

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