Continuity and change in disaster education in Japan

Article


Kitagawa, K. 2014. Continuity and change in disaster education in Japan. History of Education. 44 (3), pp. 371-390.
AuthorsKitagawa, K.
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 of 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 every-day 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, 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 DE 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.

JournalHistory of Education
Journal citation44 (3), pp. 371-390
ISSN1464-5130
0046-760X
Year2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0046760X.2014.979255
Publication dates
Print15 Dec 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited18 May 2016
Accepted11 Oct 2014
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of Education on [date of publication], available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/[Article DOI].
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