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Systems 2014, 2(1), 1-23; doi:10.3390/systems2010001

Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet: Preparing Children for Natural Disasters

1,*  and 2
1 School of Health, Human and Social Sciences, CQ University Australia, Rockhampton, QLD 4701, Australia 2 School of Mathematics and Geospatial Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 3 January 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2014 / Published: 24 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet)
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This paper first reviews research linked to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction focusing on “child-centred disaster risk reduction” (CC-DRR), highlighting systemic aspects of disaster prevention and preparedness educational programming to date. However, it is also pointed out that education evaluated to date largely assumes a linear, mechanistic approach to preparedness and related resiliency outcomes. Thus, the main thrust of this paper is to elucidate means by which hazards and disaster preparedness education programs for children can shift to systems-based models, those that incorporate both systemic epistemologies but also more systems-based, and interconnected, curricula. This includes curricula that help children connect the physical world and science with the social world and human factors. It also includes the more systemic idea that natural hazards are but one example of a larger category of problems in life related to risk and uncertainty. Thus, a main aim of a systems educational approach is to help children equip themselves with knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence that they can increasingly manage a range of risks in life. This includes an increasing understanding of the added value that can be gained from approaching problems with systemic tools, including producing increasingly effective and sustainable solutions to what public policy refers to as wicked problems.
Keywords: disaster prevention and preparedness; systems education; children and youth disaster prevention and preparedness; systems education; children and youth
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ronan, K.R.; Towers, B. Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet: Preparing Children for Natural Disasters. Systems 2014, 2, 1-23.

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