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Simulating social and political influences on hazard analysis through a classroom role playing exercise

Hales, Tristram and Cashman, Katharine V. 2008. Simulating social and political influences on hazard analysis through a classroom role playing exercise. Journal of Geoscience Education 56 (1) , pp. 54-60.

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Abstract

Geological hazard mitigation is a complicated process that involves both detailed scientific research and negotiations among various community members who have a personal stake in the chosen mitigation method. A challenge for teachers is to incorporate both of these elements into their classes. To address this problem, we have spent six years in developing and testing a role-playing exercise based on mitigation of a dam outburst hazard on Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand. In our exercise, students undertake one of five different roles and decide, as a group, the best way to mitigate the hazard. We divide our lesson into four parts: an introduction, a meeting among members of the same interested party to discuss strategy, a meeting among different interested parties to find a consensus solution to the hazard, and a debriefing session. Discussions occur in the presence of a student facilitator and a recorder. Our role-playing exercise is designed to be completed in a single hour and fifty minute or two 50 minute class sessions. Students have responded positively to the use of role-playing to supplement lectures. The framework that we have used for our exercise can be readily translated to other hazard problems where different parties debate the best way to mitigate other natural or industrial hazards.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: National Association of Geology Teachers
ISSN: 0022-1368
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:09
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/9881

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