This topic has been my favourite topic so far. In the lecture we had first we learnt about what disasters actually are and watched a few videos to highlight them. The first workshop we had today was in the science lab. We got the opportunity to try many different experiments of science to highlight the natural disasters such as volcanos and many more. The first experiment was creating a chemical reaction to show how a volcano is formed. We used baking soda and vinegar. This involved pouring vinegar into a container with baking soda where after this, we then saw the reaction of when the soda and acid met. The result looked like an erupting volcano as shown below, which was taken from the workshop.
The second experiment was we had the opportunity to use a hammer and try break down rocks into smaller parts. It was extremely difficult which shows the impact rocks have when an earthquake strikes. In this workshop we also watched a few videos of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in history and a few tsunami videos that have happened around the world. It was extremely fascinating but very shocking to see the negative impacts they have had on the world today.
In the second workshop we explained more about the political nature of disasters and talked about the governments actions relating to disaster response and rebuilding. I at first found this quite boring but as we got into the explanations and watched a few videos I was more and more interested by the end of the workshop. We completed tasks such as being in groups where we were given an image for example a home that had been wrecked by a disaster. We had to figure out what kind of disaster had struck for this image to look the way it did. It was stated by the Red Cross Foundation, (2019) that a disaster is a sudden event that seriously disrupts a community and causes human material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s ability to cope using it’s own resources. Though often caused by nature,disasters can have human origins. We also got the opportunity to look at a case study each. My case study was the Japan earthquake the occurred 11th March 2011. As I read through the case study I found it very heartbreaking imagining the aftermath for all the people who lost lives and lost their loved ones. After reading the case study our task was to this of the actions taken by the government and reflect on what it tells us about the governments priorities such as funding, resources and much more. In this workshop we also found out that Halacha, (2012) clearly stated that “ Disasters take children beyond their immediate surroundings and into the wider world”. I found this extremely effective as a student teacher as allowed me to reflect on how we as future teachers are meant to teach about Disasters and this quote effectively contributes to the effect disasters have on children and their comfort zone. The final task we completed in this workshop was to draw a fruit tree where we wrote the issue such as Global Poverty Gap. We then wrote in the roots of the tree the causes of this issue and finally in the branches we wrote the effects and symptoms of this issue. See below for our groups fruit tree.
We also discussed in groups about the response by the government and many organisations to disasters happening. We believed that the government can prepare communities for disasters like these by taking hazard assessments and community procedures such as evacuation. Also they can respond quickly after a disaster by Healthcare support, search and rescue and providing clean food and sanitation. We looked at a report/video regarding to Hurricane Katrina where we watched how the government helped this community after this extremely horrific disaster. One fact I was shocked at was with The Road Home organisation which was formed after this disaster. It was seen that 105, 375 people applied for money and only 576 people received this money. I was extremely shocked as it is shown in the video that this organisation was given more money but this still did not help the people who were in need of money support.
In the second week of Disasters, we were in groups of 6/7 where we were to do a presentation on a disaster given to us. My group were given volcanoes and so we completed a presentation on volcanoes including information about what a volcano actually is, how a volcano occurs, how we would teach this topic to a class of pupils and much more. As a student teacher I found this extremely effective as highlighted that I would be able to confidently teach this topic using a variety of resources. Each group then presented their presentation to the rest of the class to allow them to gain more knowledge on each topic of Disasters and this allowed us to have an insight to what it would be like teaching this topic to a class of pupils. Through my research and the use of the tasks completed in the workshops I was able to see the tasks pupils could complete to help support their learning of this topic.
Overall, I am extremely confident in this topic and I have a clear understanding now of different Disasters that have occurred in the world today. I am also much more aware of the aftermath of these Disasters and how different organisations help communities to re-build their lives again. I found this topic the most engaging as I felt I was constantly learning new things which made me a lot more focused. I also believe that the use of many youtube videos as seen in lectures and workshops, also kept me engaged which is a useful way when teaching to young children. As mentioned before, I feel a lot more comfortable in being able to teach this topic the most effective and understanding way for young children. I look forward to using my knowledge of Disasters in the classroom environment.
- International Federation, (2018) [Online] (www.ifrc.org, accessed October 2019).
- Halacha. J (2012) The Primary Teacher’s Guide to Geography. Witney: Scholastic.
- Hurricane Katrina Aftermath: In the Shadow | Retro Report | The New York Times (2013) [ Online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlLh9WoZxfkm, accessed on 27/10/19.
- The Guardian [online] Available at https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/24/world-heading-for-catastrophe-over-natural-disasters-risk-expert-warns