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An investigation of disaster education in elementary and secondary schools: evidence from China

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  • Tian-Tian Zhu

    () (Hunan University)

  • Yue-Jun Zhang

    () (Hunan University)

Abstract

The role of school-based disaster education in mitigating natural disaster has received extensive emphasis across the world. After the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the elementary and secondary schools in China have attached more importance to disaster education. However, it is unclear about the outcome up to now. Therefore, we conduct a relatively extensive survey in Beijing, Hunan, Guangdong and Sichuan recently, based on the perspectives of both students and teachers, so as to explore their attitude, gains, and expectations. The findings indicate that, first, it is the consensus that school-based disaster education should be enhanced to raise the awareness and capability of students to address disasters. Second, school-based disaster education has received overall positive outcome in recent years, although there are also 18% students expressing that their schools have not opened disaster curricula or they are unclear about that. Third, almost all the teachers argue that schools should develop disaster-related curricula, incorporate disaster education curricula into the compulsory curricula, and design special textbooks for disaster education. Finally, most teachers insist that the school-based disaster education has limited effect on students to improve their disaster prevention awareness and capability; in particular, the disaster education tends to impart knowledge for the most part but lack attractiveness and local features.

Suggested Citation

  • Tian-Tian Zhu & Yue-Jun Zhang, 2017. "An investigation of disaster education in elementary and secondary schools: evidence from China," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 89(3), pages 1009-1029, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:nathaz:v:89:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11069-017-3004-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11069-017-3004-2
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