Developing a Disaster Management Education and Training Program for Children with Intellectual Disabilities to Improve “Zest for Life” in the Event of a Disaster – A Case Study on Tochigi Prefectural Imaichi Special School for the Intellectually Disabled –
Toshimitsu Nagata*, and Reo Kimura**
*Utsunomiya Local Meteorological Office, Meteorological Agency
1-4 Akebono-cho, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi 320-0845, Japan
**Faculty and Graduate School of Human Science and Environment, University of Hyogo, Himeji, Japan
In this study, we first discuss the current status and issues of disaster management education in the context of special support education in Japan, in view of the casualties of those with disabilities during major past earthquakes in Japan. We highlight that there are very few examples of practical implementation of, instructional material for, or previous studies on disaster management education for disabled children, or an established systematic instructional method. As a result, disaster management education tailored to the specific type of disability has been implemented on a school-to-school basis among Special Support Schools for children with disabilities. In many cases, teacher-led evacuation drills have been considered disaster management education. This is an indication that the disaster management education currently practiced in Special Support Schools is inadequate to achieve the goal of “fostering the attitude of acting on one’s initiative” as set forth by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In view of the situation in Japan, where casualties due to natural disasters continue to occur frequently since the Great East Japan Earthquake, it is urgent that we promote practical disaster management education to foster the Zest for Life among disabled children. This paper is a case study of disaster management education that targets those with intellectual disabilities, which is the largest reported disability type among children enrolled in Special Support Schools in Japan. We applied the ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate) process in instructional design to develop an earthquake disaster management program designed to heighten the capacity of disabled children to foresee and circumvent danger to themselves, so as to protect their lives from large earthquakes which occur frequently in Japan. Specifically, the objective is to apply the earthquake disaster management education program, developed by the authors in a previous study, to children with intellectual disabilities. To this end, we implemented the program at the target school and verified its educational effect while taking into consideration the degree or condition of disability and the learning characteristics of the intellectually disabled and developed a valid program for intellectually disabled children. The program allows the teachers of Special Support Schools to practice disaster management education in the context of daily classroom study with students without the need to dispatch a disaster management expert to the school each time a program is implemented. Additionally, the program can be customized by the onsite teacher for individual schools, which can lead to a systematic program in disaster management education. In addition, we propose a framework to establish a network of stakeholders, including disaster management experts or organizations and educational institutions to effectively and strategically promote disaster management education. This framework makes it possible to implement the present program the most impactful way, and to maximize the benefits to the schools in Tochigi prefecture.
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