Teacher Training for Disaster Prevention Education

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PowerPoint presentation supporting my paper to the 2nd ICEDP May 2009 entitled, 'The Mechanism of Teacher Training for Disaster Prevention Education'

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Teacher Training for Disaster Prevention Education

  1. 1. The mechanism of training teachers/educators in disaster prevention education Justin Sharpe Teacher, Beal High School PhD candidate, Kings College London 14th May 2009
  2. 2. Context: <ul><li>After the Magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Pakistan on 8 th October 2005 UNICEF estimated that 32,000 children were killed, 42,000 children injured, and 160,000 to 250,000 children left without assistance (UNICEF, 2005). At least 17,000 child deaths occurred when 6,700 school buildings collapsed. A similar proportion of deaths among children were reported in the aftermath of the magnitude 6.7 Bam Earthquake in Iran in December 2003, with 30% of Bam’s 32,443 school children killed by the earthquake ( UNICEF , 2004). </li></ul>Children who have experienced natural disaster may no longer have a home, school or family members to care for them. This will result in a wide range of risks. If there is widespread disruption and damage to both the child’s home and to services accessed by the child such as schools, playgroups and parks, this can have a greater psychological effect on a child.
  3. 3. Children as capacity builders: <ul><li>John Twigg, reported (2004) on the findings of a Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment by the Palestine Red Crescent which collected children’s drawings showing : </li></ul><ul><li>They were well aware of the threats facing the community; </li></ul><ul><li>Viewed disasters and their consequences as part of the broader environment, not as self-contained events; </li></ul><ul><li>And most importantly… </li></ul><ul><li>Were full of ideas for preparedness. </li></ul><ul><li>Twigg also makes the point those current and future projects: “need to build on such activities to involve children more fully in their broader mitigation and preparedness work at community level” </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>Lindel and Perry (2000) found that belief in the effectiveness of an action is the strongest predictor of adoption. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McClure (2006) and Palm and Hodgson (1992) similarly found that people must personalize the probable consequences of disaster before they will act. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studies show that people are more likely to believe in the effectiveness of a behavior when that behavior is promoted through a story rather than through a technical presentation of facts (Heath & Heath, 2008). </li></ul></ul>What does and doesn’t work in disaster prevention:
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>Radio dramas, fictional accounts, and dramatic plays have been used effectively to increase risk awareness and implementation of protective action throughout Latin America and Asia. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In other words… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>M ake your approach interactive and experiential - engage your audience, rather than preaching at it.’ (Petal, M, 2000) This also leads to a discussion of the hazards by children with their peers, teachers and parents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is an integral part of the education process as it leads people to find out: ‘Can I do anything to reduce the risks?’ This would begin to address the goal of public education about geo-hazards – to ‘change people’s behaviour’ (Public Education for Earthquake Hazards, Sara Nathe et al, 1999). </li></ul></ul>What does and doesn’t work in disaster prevention:
  6. 7. <ul><ul><li>Teachers are not radically different from their students in many ways and enjoy learning about new pedagogies and new subject material. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And like their students, teachers will be more receptive to imaginative and entertaining ways for engaging both them in education for disaster prevention. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So part of the mechanism for teacher training is for them to test their own multiple intelligences as put forward by Howard Gardner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I would series of table top exercises and actual physical exercises where teams of teachers learn by doing reflecting and then doing again with their students: </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Emergency Go-Bag scavenger hunt or art activity for selection of items. </li></ul><ul><li>Games to develop response skills (e.g. Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep, bucket brigades transferring water in or debris out). </li></ul><ul><li>Making table-top shake table model and simulating effects on building contents. </li></ul><ul><li>Designing non-structural mitigation solutions and problem-solving,Researching safety of own school buildings and homes. </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation assistance skills,Activities developing C h eck, Call, Care and life-saving skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Table top exercise based in an emergency scenario, with complexity added over time to test a range of thinking skills in a crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Skits, poems and song-composition and performance based on what they have learned. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>This would not only help teachers understand and reflect on their own strengths, but of those around them in their group. </li></ul><ul><li>It would be clear that even within a small group of teachers that multiple intelligences theory has a practical application and would impress the importance of flexible teaching and learning for disaster prevention education. </li></ul><ul><li>This ties in with Carol Dweck (1999) theories of self. She labels the two theories ‘Entity theory’, in which you believe that you are born with a fixed amount of intelligence, and ‘Incremental theory’, in which intelligence can be developed through effort and engagement. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><ul><ul><li>A belief in fixed intelligence raises students’ concerns about how smart they are, it creates anxiety about challenges, and it makes failures into a measure of their fixed intelligence. It can therefore create disorganised, defensive, and helpless behaviour. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A belief in malleable intelligence creates a desire for challenge and learning. Setbacks in this framework become an expected part of long- term learning and mastery and are therefore not really failures. Instead they are cues for renewed effort and new strategies. (Dweck, 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>The first part of the quote above warns against a belief in fixed intelligence as it can create, ‘disorganised, defensive and helpless behaviour’. This is just what disaster prevention practitioners have been battling with in adults whose response to hazard threats is to ‘do nothing’, as they believe the hazard to be too big to do anything about or believe it is the role of others to protect them. </li></ul><ul><li>Ronan and Johnston (2001) examined the work carried out by (Weinstein (1980), Perlof and Fetzer (1983) and others in order to explain why people react in the way that they do when faced with living with hazards. Their research suggests that lack of knowledge and understanding coupled with a need for personal control, causes many of those at risk to develop the concept of “illusions of unique invulnerability”(Perlof and Felzer, 1983). This in turn allows them to create a certain stereotype for the type of person likely to become a victim of a hazard event; and if they don’t fit that stereotype, the perceived risk to them is less. (Ronan & Johnston, 2001, p3). </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Multiple intelligence theory can also be applied to develop curriculum materials for teachers to use when teaching disaster prevention: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linguistic Intelligence - useful for getting students to re-write advice and educational materials for children. This does not need to be presented in an essay format but could also be used to create a comic strip or even for planning out a storyboard for a film or animation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Logical/Mathematical Intelligence - students with this as a strength would enjoy undertaking the role of the seismologist working out the epicenters of earthquakes using P-wave minus S-wave seismogram data to triangulate the epicenter of an earthquake for example. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Musical Rhythmic Intelligence - students with these skills could compose a song about the dangers in their community and a go-bag rap for preparedness! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><ul><ul><li>Bodily/Kinesthetic - These skills can be used when deciding what items to put in a go-bag and then putting them together, or filming short preparedness films. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spatial Intelligence includes the ability to represent the spatial world internally in ones mind – students with this skill will enjoy map-making, surveying hazards in their community and even identifying escape routes and helping to plan! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Naturalist Intelligence - of great use when considering what types of action or inaction may increase the risk from hazards, such as deforestation or removing rocks from rivers that may increase flood risk, for example. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intrapersonal Intelligence - These students tend to know what they can and can't do, but also know where to go if they need help. Students like this are very good at forming and running committees, getting things done and seeking out the right people to help them in the community. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><ul><ul><li>Interpersonal Intelligence - Students who have learned about how to protect themselves, but want local government to help them to achieve this in their schools and community would be good at communicating this need to politicians, or school governors. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existential Intelligence is where the ability and proclivity to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities. Disaster prevention fit into this category well and the philosophy of disaster prevention might be discussed – What can be done? Why do some people ignore the threats or fail to take protective measures? By exploring these issues as a class, students may be more inclined to make their own decisions about mitigating for the risk! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>HOWEVER: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless the teachers have personalized the learning for themselves and have engaged with the subject, effective learning for disaster prevention education will not occur. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What teachers can teach and facilitate effectively both inside and outside of the classroom depends on both their confidence with the subject as well as in their own abilities and teaching styles to be able to promote active engagements with the learners or students. Research has shown (O’Donnell, 2006) that there are significant academic gains to students from working collaboratively in groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This academic gain may result in better knowledge and understanding, which again may impact on both current and future decision-making regarding protection measures from hazards at home, at school and in the community. However an inexperienced or unconfident teacher may not attempt collaborative working, as he or she may not be willing to take risks that may lead to a noisy or chaotic classroom. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>REMEMBER: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers are NOT the only people working in education. In order to create holistic and fully integrated disaster prevention education the wider school needs top be involved. This includes teachers, managers, administrators and support staff as well as students and their parents . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When individuals (including teachers and educators) must personalise the probable consequences of disasters before they will act (McClure 2006; Palm and Hodgson 1992). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barriers to hazard adoption include doubt about the effectiveness of particular measures, and lack of belief in one’s personal ability to carry them out (Lindell and Perry 2000; Mulilis and Duval 1995). It is decisions about the action, rather than specifics about the hazard that motivate risk reduction behaviour. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>There is a body pedagogical research that strongly indicates that experiential learning, in which the experience of the learner at the heart of the strategy, hold untapped promise for disaster risk reduction education. </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential learning holds that learners actively construct their own experience (Boud, Cohen and Walker, 1993) </li></ul><ul><li>A more participative, learner-centred approach, emphasizing direct engagement, rich learning events and the construction of meaning by learners is promoted (Foley, 1995). </li></ul><ul><li>And of course much of the teacher training process is an experiential one with planning of lessons, the teaching and interaction with students and then learning to become a reflective practitioner in order to develop as a professional and become a more competent and experienced teacher. It would be relatively simple extend this process to the teaching of educators and teachers for disaster prevention education and indeed could become integrated simply into teacher training curriculum. </li></ul>An holistic approach to disaster prevention education:
  17. 18. <ul><li>Drills, of course, are inherently intended to be an experiential learning activity. Realizing the full potential of drills may require a more systematic and reflective application of the theory. Complementary activities that engage participants in learning by doing, experiencing and then, after reflection, acting hold similar promise for disaster risk reduction education. </li></ul><ul><li>However unless the school takes drills and emergency planning seriously (not just for the sometimes more abstract disaster scenario) but for every day scenario’s such as an intruder on site, fire and lockdown drills, for example, then the appropriate paper work, responsibilities and training of staff is unlikely to have been carried out. Nevertheless, a teacher interested in drills because of concerns for safety for students and staff, such as union representatives, may be the type of teachers to target alongside head teachers and administrators. Again ready made and easily adaptable resources need to be made available – both virtual and hard copy, in local languages so that teacher advocates can take the initiative themselves. </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Clearly everyone learns in different ways and if teachers recognise this, their students will be enabled to think for themselves and with the right knowledge gained in the classroom realise that they are responsible for their own safety as much as it is their parent’s, teacher or society’s responsibility. This self-efficacy and confidence will help them share their knowledge and understanding with parents and other relatives who may also begin to make their own adjustments for their own safety. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers that have undergone training should be tested as to their knowledge and understanding by allowing them to respond to a given scenario and by adding complexity to the scenario both teachers and trainers will see the limitations of the methods they are using to teach, which will continue to develop reflective practitioners in the classroom and in the wider community as part of the experiential learning cycle which is said to have started with Confucius. </li></ul>Conclusions:
  19. 20. <ul><li>From various research sources we know that we remember: </li></ul><ul><li>5% of a lecture </li></ul><ul><li>10% of what is read, </li></ul><ul><li>20% of what is gleaned from audio visual sources (TV and Radio), </li></ul><ul><li>30% from demonstration, </li></ul><ul><li>50% from discussing with peers, </li></ul><ul><li>75% through practice by doing (such as learning to drive) </li></ul><ul><li>90% from teaching others. </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>So for truly successful and meaningful education for disaster prevention we need to turn our students into teachers to make them understand what they should be learning. </li></ul><ul><li>If teachers realize this as part of their training for disaster prevention great progress may be made as the quality of teaching and learning for disaster prevention will be such that it has a real and lasting impact on the attitudes towards hazard events as their students develop an internal locus of control, realizing that as individuals and collectively they have the ability and the responsibility to protect themselves and more importantly, they act on this knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you </li></ul>

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