13 Nov 2020

13 Nov 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GC.

Using paired teaching for earthquake education in schools

Solmaz Mohadjer1,4, Sebastian G. Mutz1, Matthew Kemp2, Sophie J. Gill2, Anatoly Ischuk3, and Todd A. Ehlers1 Solmaz Mohadjer et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, 72074, Germany
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 3Institute of Geology, Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • 4Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Central Asia, Khorog, Tajikistan

Abstract. Lack of access to science-based natural hazards information impedes the effectiveness of school-based disaster risk reduction education. To address this challenge, we have created ten geoscience video lessons that follow the paired teaching pedagogical approach. This method is used to supplement the standard school curriculum with video lessons instructed by geoscientists from around the world coupled with activities carried out by local classroom teachers. The video lessons introduce students to the scientific concepts behind earthquakes (e.g., Earth's interior, plate tectonics, faulting, and seismic energy), earthquake hazards and mitigation measures (e.g., liquefaction, structural and non-structural earthquake hazards). These concepts are taught through hands-on learning where students use everyday materials to build models to visualize basic Earth processes that produce earthquakes, and explore the effects of different hazards. To evaluate the effectiveness of these virtual lessons, we tested our videos with school classrooms in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) and London (United Kingdom). Before and after video implementations, students completed questionnaires that probed their knowledge on topics covered by each video including the Earth's interior, tectonic plate boundaries, and non-structural hazards.

Our assessment results indicate that while the paired teaching videos appear to enhance student views and understanding of some concepts (e.g., Earth's interior, earthquake location forecasting, and non-structural hazards), they bring little change to their views on causes of earthquakes and their relation to plate boundaries. In general, the difference between UK and Tajik students' level of knowledge prior to and after video testing is more significant than the difference between pre- and post-knowledge for each group. This could be due to several factors affecting curriculum testing (e.g., level of teachers' participation and suitable classroom culture) and students' learning of content (e.g., pre-existing hazards knowledge and experience). Taken together, to maximize the impact of school-based risk reduction education, curriculum developers must move beyond innovative content and pedagogical approaches, take classroom culture into consideration, and instil skills needed for participatory learning and discovery.

Solmaz Mohadjer et al.

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Solmaz Mohadjer et al.

Video supplement

Journey to the Center of the Earth Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, and Matthew Kemp

Living on the Edge Solmaz Mohadjer and Sebastian Mutz

Soft Rocks & Hard Liquids Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, Reinhard Drews, and Matthias Nettesheim

Do you know your faults? Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, and Ruth Amey

What Causes That Rock'n'Roll? Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, and Lewis Mitchell

Rocking, Rolling and Bouncing Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, and Jessica Starke

Flow with the Sand Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, Matthias Nettesheim, and Reinhard Drews

Safe or Unsafe? Solmaz Mohadjer and Sebastian Mutz

On Shaky Ground (Part 1) Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, Matthew Kemp, and Sophie Gill

On Shaky Ground (Part 2) Solmaz Mohadjer, Sebastian Mutz, Sophie Gill, and Matthew Kemp

Solmaz Mohadjer et al.


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Short summary
Lack of access to science-based natural hazards information impedes the effectiveness of school-based disaster risk reduction education. To address this challenge, we created and classroom tested a series of earthquake education videos that were co-taught by school teachers and Earth scientists in the UK and Tajikistan. Comparison of results reveal significant differences between students' views on the Earth's interior and why and where earthquakes occur.