The purpose of this paper is to relate disaster risk reduction activities to learning perspectives and theories. The paper refers to ‘disaster risk reduction activities’ encompassing various terms used in the existing disaster risk management literature, such as ‘disaster education’ and ‘capacity building’. One thing they have in common is the involvement of the general public in preparing for natural hazards. Disaster risk reduction activities involve learning, because they aim to change people’s behaviour, perception and emotion. An overview of the relationships between disaster risk reduction activities and learning theories has not been offered, and that is what this paper aims to achieve. ‘How people learn’ has been studied in the fields of psychology and education over the years. Evolving from the primary focus of acquisition of knowledge and skills, the understanding of ‘what learning is’ has broadened to envisage emotional and social dimensions. Referring to the historical development of five major learning perspectives, the paper links each perspective with specific disaster risk reduction activities. The foci of the studies of disaster risk reduction activities have been what people should learn, rather than how people learn. Engagement with learning perspectives and theories will allow conceptualising how people learn to be prepared and resilient, which will benefit disaster risk management.
Springer- Natural hazards
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