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Children as change agents in reducing risk of disasters
chapterposted on 02.03.2018, 00:00 by M Rashid, Kevin RonanKevin Ronan, B Towers
Research has shown that disaster-related fears are prominent among children (Muris, Merckelbach & Collaris, 1997). Most children do have questions and concerns about hazards and disasters, particularly when these are subject to media coverage during and after an event. Research in both psychology and education suggests that avoiding the topic does not serve the best interests of children: avoidance tends to maintain or increase children’s fears whereas approaching the issue directly can help reduce them (Ronan & Johnston, 2005; Towers, 2015). Teachers’ efforts to initiate age-appropriate activities and facilitate children’s learning about hazards in their local environment are thus worthwhile, particularly when learning activities support children to engage in approach- versus avoidance-coping strategies.