'Use of comic strips to teach kindergarten children about earthquakes' paper in Disaster Management and Prevention Journal

The 'Silly Timmy' comic strip developed on this site by me were used in a pilot study in Tehran, Iran just over a year ago in an attempt to assess the possibilities of using in wide educational contexts. The research and it's findings are published at: http://bit.ly/1oIoLwW in Disaster Management and Prevention. It's authors are myself (Justin Sharpe) and long time member of Edu4DRR.org, Dr Yasamin Izadkhah. The abstract for the paper us included below:

Purpose – Up to now, no extensive work has addressed the capacity and resiliency of pre-school children, nor the importance of extending disaster preparedness education to them. The purpose of this paper is to show that given the right learning tools to engage them, in this case a comic strip designed for this purpose by the first author, pre-school children are able to demonstrate the extent of their learning well. Design/methodology/approach – Comic strips have been used in a number of ways to enhance knowledge and education, including for disaster risk reduction (DRR). Their use as learning stimuli is outlined, showing their historical context as well as their potential for future use. The methodology used included classroom observations, coupled with interviews with some of the class.

Findings – The research showed that pre-school children engaged with and responded to the comic strips in a positive manner while the blank comic strips allowed learners to make sense of the topic through the retelling of the story, allowing them to be placed within a schema of understanding deemed essential for deeper level learning.

Originality/value – The research is significant because it shows that, even at a young age, complex cognitive process were engaged in order for learners to take their new knowledge, place it within the context of their own experience and re-tell it to others. This pattern of reflection, reasoning and testing is important for triple-loop learning, which may hold the key to truly resilient individuals and communities.

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Instruction booklet on reducing the risks of earthquakes

This booklet, written in both Arabic and English, guides children on how to protect themselves in different earthquake scenarios, such as if they are in a vehicle or classroom. The booklet also provides information on facilitating a safe exit and reducing risks prior to earthquakes.

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