School-based disaster education through curricular and extra-curricular activities : a comparative case study

Yılmaz, Elanur
The purpose of this research study is to examine formal disaster education implemented in elementary schools, and to investigate how disaster education taking place in the schools through extra-curricular activities raise awareness of and build the capacity of students; and teachers to prevent and respond appropriately to disasters. Participants of the study were 251 students at 5th grade level through 8th grade level in SchoolA implementing both curricular and extra-curricular approaches in disaster education and 95 students at 6th grade level through 8th grade level in SchoolB implementing only curricular approaches, and 6 teachers working in SchoolA in Kocaeli. An open-ended questionnaire developed by the researcher, and semi-structured interviews with three students from and six teachers in School Awere used for data collection. The qualitative data were analyzed through content analysis, and quantitative data were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis. The results revealed that students who went through both curricular and extra-curricular activities had higher awareness about disaster-related issues, vital safety-related actions were well known by those students, and major household preparedness and mitigation measures against, particularly earthquakes, were more adopted compared to the students who participated in only curricular disaster education. The conclusionshave implications for disaster education through extra-curricular activities on immediate outcomes such as awareness, personal preparedness, home-based preparedness, and encouragement of child-parent communication.