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Continuity and change in disaster education in Japan

Kitagawa, K; (2015) Continuity and change in disaster education in Japan. History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society , 44 (3) pp. 371-390. 10.1080/0046760X.2014.979255. Green open access

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Abstract

This article aims to describe post-war continuity and change in disaster education in Japan. Preparedness for natural disasters has been a continuous agenda in Japan for geographical and meteorological reasons, and disaster education has been practised in both formal and informal settings. Post-war disaster management and education have taken a follow-up approach, which means that clusters of measures have been developed after critical national-scale disasters have occurred. Following this clustering, with a minor amendment, the article discusses continuity and change in disaster education, looking at the different versions of the national curriculum (the Course of Study) at the compulsory school level. It is argued that disaster education has always been delivered at school in post-war Japan – this is the continuity – however, its treatment in the curriculum has changed over the years, from the scientific knowledge model, to the civic participation model, to the multi-hazard model, to the everyday life model within broader economic, political and social contexts – this is the change. Through this historical description, the article sheds light on the complexity of the field ‘disaster education’, particularly its two-dimensional aspect, namely, ‘the science of disasters’ on the one hand, and ‘life skills for disasters’ on the other. Currently, these two dimensions are addressed within the policy framework of School Safety. It is argued, however, that this complexity has been a challenge in the positioning of disaster education in the Japanese system. The article concludes by exploring the direction that disaster education has been taking since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Type: Article
Title: Continuity and change in disaster education in Japan
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0046760X.2014.979255
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0046760X.2014.979255
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of Education on 15 December 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0046760X.2014.979255.
Keywords: Disaster education, school safety, preparedness, Japan
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501653
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