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Proactive Co‐Learning: A New Paradigm in Disaster Education

The aims of this paper are to point out the effectiveness of the education at Maiko and show the direction of effective school disaster education.

 The questionnaire survey was conducted in 12 schools (1,065 students) from different parts of Japan, including that of Maiko, to understand the linking between disaster education and students’ awareness.

 The questionnaire results show a distinct higher risk perception and risk reduction actions of the students in the Maiko, as compared to other schools. The Maiko focuses on mitigation and preparedness, mainly teaches about the social environment, and makes students think of the importance of implementation. This learning process is found to be effective in reducing the gap between intention and action.

 The study findings are of significant importance for school-teachers or education departments, while designing the curriculum for disaster education.

 This paper presents the results of a two-year study on disaster education in Japan. The goal is to identify future education for disaster reduction. To achieve the goal, the following objectives are established:

  • To identify the effect of earthquake experiences to enhance awareness; and
  • To identify the effect of education to enhance awareness.

 The paper has three major parts: in the first part, the paper summarizes the results of the school survey, in the second part, the course of Maiko High School is described, and in the final part, a comparative analysis is made to show how the course is effective to raise the awareness of the students.

 From the overall results of the questionnaire survey, some significant conclusions can be made. Students of Shizuoka, Aichi, and Wakayama (the places which has higher risk of future earthquakes) have higher perception and intention, and frequent action than students of Osaka and Hyogo (had Kobe earthquake experiences, but no major anticipated future risk). In the former area, mass media provides critical information about earthquakes, which can enhance students’ awareness. Study on social environment can also provide awareness.

 The goal of education is to change people’s behavior. Awareness about risks and dangers needs to start in early education before abilities to address them can become part of growing civic and professional responsibilities as people mature.

 This paper is not showing that such a course should be established in all schools. Disaster management is linking with social environment and our livelihood as well as natural environment. This means that disaster education can be provided in any on-going subjects and school activities. The current study shows the crucial points of disaster education so that students can get intention and take action for disaster reduction. To implement proposed education in any schools, cooperation from schools and government, and awareness raising of teachers are necessary.


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