Disaster resilience education in action
Teachers don’t need to be the subject matter experts; DRE learning objectives can be delivered in partnership with technical experts and industry professionals who can provide specialist advice about the specific knowledge, skills and values that are most relevant to a particular DRE objective.
There are a number of Tasmanian community based disaster resilience strategies schools can engage in. These include projects and programs facilitated by local government and emergency services.
For example schools in high bushfire risk areas can link in to local community initiatives such as the Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods program which aims is to build resilience and capacity in bushfire prevention and preparedness in Tasmanian communities most at-risk to bushfire through a sustainable community development approach.
Providing students with practical active learning opportunities by integrating relevant local community disaster risks and hazards will make their learning more meaningful. This can be achieved by including them in the school’s disaster emergency management by engaging them in school site and local neighbourhood risk assessment and then presenting their findings to the broader community.
The students then could design and implement structural and non-structural disaster risk reduction strategies to increase the school’s safety. Students could also be given the opportunity to evaluate the school’s emergency management plan and implement recommendations for its improvement.
Australian Curriculum - Disaster resilience education in the classroom
Australian children are taught about natural disasters in a number of aspects across the Australian Curriculum.
In the geography curriculum, Year 5 students are taught about natural disasters such as bushfires and floods. In Year 7, students learn about hydrological hazards, and in Year 8, geomorphological hazards (causes and human responses, including readiness).
In the design and technologies curriculum, there are elaborations on disasters. Year 7 and 8 students may critique competing factors that influence the design of services; for example, a natural disaster warning system for a community.
In Year 3 and 4, an elaboration explores factors that impact on design decisions; for example, considering the demographics of an area or the impact of natural disasters on design of constructed environments such as the structural design of buildings in Japan to withstand earthquakes.
Disaster resilience education in Australian Curriculum presents a reference guide as a teacher classroom planning tool to identify significant DRE links in the Australian Curriculum.
Australian Institute for Disaster resilience – Disaster resilience education website provides a range of teaching resources.
There are a number of excellent disaster resilience education projects being undertaken in Australian schools.