I am currently writing a paper for a disaster prevention in education conference in Taiwan and so have been researching about new curriculum in general, alongside curriculum materials. What is becoming clear is that although there is an ever growing proliferation of educational materials, made to address different facets of a range of hazards and responses, this will not lead to education that helps people make changes to their lifestyles to become better prepared. This is for several reasons.

Firstly even if you 'train' teachers or provide INSET, unless they are engaged and think it is important, they will do what they need to do to tick boxes and perhaps nothing more.

Secondly you need to have everyone on board and wanting the same outcomes, which means that these outcomes need to be WRITTEN DOWN and agreed upon by all the agencies involved in creating the curriculum.

Thirdly, these outcomes need to be broken down and specified for EACH part or lesson in the scheme of work, so 'what Im a looking for...' and 'we are learning to...' type statements that can be answered and built upon each time.

Fourthly, that having lesson plans and a 'scheme of work is not enough to engage teachers. They want a range of resources that they can pool from (more often using the internet) which offer a range of film clips, photo-slideshows, mystery exercises, diamond nine thinking skills, maps etc that can be used in the way that best suits the individual needs of both the teacher and the class. This means that writing frames and differentiated worksheets and activity sheets will need to be produced. Also by offering a range of resources in this way the individual learning styles of students can be attended to (kinaesthetic, visual, audio etc), while also allowing the teacher to remain a creative force in the classroom while allowing his/her students to develop a better understanding of the ideas and concepts that disaster prevention education wants to get across.

And finally (for now anyway) it is important that students and teachers feel a sense of achievement about what they have been through together. That BOTH students AND teachers not only understand and are aware of the dangers in their community but that they are both prepared mentally and physically. By this I mean having and emergency go-bag, learning first aid and knowing what there role is and more importantly, how to perform it in the event of an emergency either at school or in their community.

I have tried to provide a flavour of this on this site under the curriculum section. Although I used this in the school I work in does not mean that you would want to take the entirety of it for your school and indeed it would not be suitable for every age group or every part of the world. However I am doing what I can. The aim of this network is that we all do what we can but also SHARE this practice with others.

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Comment by Colonel N M Verma on April 26, 2009 at 14:20
Dear Justin Sharpe,

I congratulate you for your honest approach to the cause. I have been committed to the cause of safer children in disasters and emergencies since 05june 2000. Working to raise awareness and impart education in 12 states of India which mostly include schools of rural districts and villages. We have to evolve methods with simple ways for use and replication. Look forward to inter act more

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