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ERIC Number: EJ1173481
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2327-3585
Children as Bushfire Educators--"Just Be Calm, and Stuff Like That"
Gibbs, Lisa; Block, Karen; Ireton, Greg; Taunt, Emma
Journal of International Social Studies, v8 n1 p86-112 2018
The limited evidence regarding disaster-related environmental education programs for children indicates that these programs can increase disaster resilience and family preparedness activities, and reduce children's fear and anxiety. However, the literature lacks qualitative studies to provide insights into children's experiences of disaster education programs, the programs' influence on citizenship opportunities in disaster risk environments, and follow-ups with children impacted by actual disasters. This paper reports on a pilot study in Victoria, Australia, of the Survive and Thrive program, an environmental education program delivered by the local fire brigade and incorporated into the school curricula for upper primary school children in Anglesea, a coastal town rated as having an extreme risk of bushfires. A mix of longitudinal qualitative methods captured children's experiences and the program's impact on child agency. The results showed that the children enjoyed the Survive and Thrive program and valued the life skills they acquired. The children demonstrated knowledge and skills gained in monitoring environmental risks and bushfire behavior, as well as a more nuanced understanding of the different civic roles of adults and children in responding to a bushfire in different contexts. Faced with the reality of a nearby bushfire during the summer holidays, children demonstrated their capacity for critical thinking and application of their knowledge to support appropriate action.
International Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 16th Street Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 765-496-3029; Fax: 765-496-2210; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A