Volume 20 Issue 2, 2005

Teaching for disaster mitigation in a time of terrorism: Can the lessons from natural disasters be applied to the New World Order?

John Lidstone

Peer-reviewed Article

Archived Article


Over the past 20 years or so, we have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in both public education as a whole, and that part of public education that can be achieved through the school curriculum. However, while there has been a considerable number of terrorist acts around the world, although fortunately none in Australia, we seem to have little to guide us on the nature of effective public education in terrorist-induced disasters. In this paper, I attempt to draw some lessons from our previous experience in “natural” disaster public education, both generally and at school level and suggest that a terrorist-initiated disaster is qualitatively different from natural and accidentally human-induced disasters. I conclude that to achieve its aim of mitigating such disasters, and to maintain credibility with the public, the disaster management community may have to broaden its approach to school education, distance itself from its political masters and itself become more politically aware.