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Semaan, Leslie and Kathleen Lightman,

Victoria, Victoria International Development Education Association, 1984, 48pp, paper, text, $12.50. Includes slides with script and audiotape, $50.00. Videocassettes 1/2" $35.00 and 3/4" $55.00. Distributed by VIDEA, 407-620 View Street, Victoria, B.C. V8W 1J6. (Classroom Resource Kits Series).

Grades 5 and up
Reviewed by Catherine Cox

Volume 15 Number 5
1987 November

The Victoria International Development Education Association has produced seven classroom resource kits on developing countries. VIDEA was founded to "encourage greater interest and awareness in developing countries." It has a schools program which includes the development of classroom resource kits like the one on India.

The text covers the geography, climate, industry, history, customs, religion, and the arts and crafts of India. The slide-tape presentation is about thirty minutes long and gives a superficial overview of India's geography, lifestyle, worklife, and the Hindu religion. The narration is typical "educational" quality, though the narrator speaks slowly and clearly. The background music is authentic and sometimes an attention grabber. The narration is obviously designed for a slide show with the narrator often beginning the discussion of a slide with "This is the Taj Mahal" or the like. If the same narration is used on the video cassette, I cannot see why it would be as appropriate as the slide format. The progression of the slide show gets a bit disjointed as the section on the Hindu religion is inserted between slides relating to worklife. The conclusion is abrupt and leaves the listener wondering if the producers wanted to include more material but just did not have time.

Technical quality is adequate with the slides being varied and the sound clear and intelligible. The slides are in colour and are actual photographs. The cassette is taped on one side only and has an audible signal. There is no version with an inaudible signal for synchronized slide-tape players. Though the material in the text is meant to be reproduced, the type is not really dark enough to reproduce well on many school photocopiers.

This material would be appropriate at the intermediate level and would provide supplementary material for the teacher. I find it hard to recommend this Canadian production as a first purchase. The text would be valuable to the teacher as it contains information with Canadian references as well as discussion guides and tests that could be used without the slides. The slides would be useful supplementary material to any teaching unit on India.

Catherine Cox, Moncton H.S., Moncton, N.B.
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