I'm currently working in the Philippines on various DRR projects with schools and am wondering what DRR competencies have been developed. So many DRR activities are undertaken and that's good. But what are the competencies that these projects/activities are based on? Have some been developed? If so, where would I find them? I'd love to hear from folks, especially about DRR competencies related to schools. Thanks for any help you can give me. Beryl Cheal

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Comment by Justin Sharpe on October 9, 2009 at 9:49
Beryl,
Thanks for the support! There are a number of resources that I have developed on this site that I have developed which may also be of use, perhaps not in their current state which has an emphasis on UK flooding for instance, but could easily be modified. The first lesson on hazards vs disasters might be useful. I would also suggest taht any education involves doing alongside being taught. STydents could identify hazards in school and then identify hazard in local community. I am developing a couple of lessons here that deal with mapping flood risk close to the school I work in. This includes examining the impact of rubbish or trash in the river as well as walking along the main road that runs along the school and observing whether leaves, trash etc have been cleared from roadside and drains as this would also impact on the flood risk locally. The idea is to carry out and present to local council, which would also engage the students in democratic participation. The resources developed on this site have been made to support the web-site I designed to help students understand about the risks and how to prepare for them in the wider world as well as in their community - http://www.edu4hazards.org. There are also videos on this site which can be used to great effect in the classroom etc which also use humour to make a point. My favourite is: what not to don in an earthquake and in terms of health awareness, 'Coughs & Sneezes spread diseases' which is surprisingly effective. Both are great starting points to talk about the right and the wrong things to do! I hope this helps!
Comment by Beryl Cheal on October 9, 2009 at 3:13
Thanks for your comments, Justin - The three educational theorists you mention are such good ones to continue to study for their work, as you indicate, can be so important to what we do. And yes, we so often forget to consider how children learn when we develop and implement projects or "lessons". Please keep me posted on your work.

Part of my work here is helping teachers develop lesson plans based on DRR competencies for all subjects in elementary school..................a daunting task! We are in that process now, basing the competencies on DRR principles adjusted to levels of learning. Your reminder is a good one - I'll try to make sure we keep in mind the three theories of learning that you mentioned.

I'll also check out the website you suggested.........

I think schools here in the Philippines are particularly aware of the need for DRR with the recent major floods that we have had. But of course floods are only one of the disasters that can happen in this part of the world. Sadly, too often it takes major tradegies to get people's attention.

Thanks for your help.

Beryl
Comment by Justin Sharpe on October 8, 2009 at 19:34
Beryl,
Thank you for your blog post which I think raises an interesting question. There are a lot of well meaning education projects carried out that have reasonable success in the short term at raising awareness, but this does not get followed up, reinforced elsewhere through government and media and so the message becomes diluted and even lost over time, with children and youth slightly better informed but not necessarily confident enough to exact change. This is a problem. The word education has become something of a buzzword for reducing disaster risk, but this is too large a concept and can cover anything from a leaflet campaign to curricular that comes from an understanding of how children think and learn in the modern wold. This is something I am attempting to answer with my PhD studies alongside my practical experience as a teacher. The resources that I have developed and posted on this site are part of this process of planning, delivery, reflection and change. I am currently putting the finishing touches to a paper that is identifying opportunities or real learning in the UK geography curriculum and influenced by three education al theories: the theory of self (DwecK), experiential learning theories (Dewey, Kolb) and multiple intelligence theory (Gardner). I hope that this will help to help curriculum managers and education authorities realise that education is more than just information giving in a didactic manner and that if education for DRR is to work it must be meaningful to students if we want to help them discover that they have the ability to help themselves to become not just resilient, but prepared for potential hazards in their community so that they do not become disasters. I hope that this helps.

In tersm of further information you may want to try the prevention web library which is online from the preventionweb.net homepage. You may also want to cross post this question on our sister site http://cogssspe.ning.com

Regards,

Justin

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