Ivana Taran

Ivana Taran's picture
Masters Student

Project Title: Program Evaluation: Emergency Helpers in the Community and Me!

Children living in Australia sometimes face extreme weather hazards which can be both frightening and dangerous. Previous research has shown that hazard education programs can help children become more emotionally resilient, gain a better understanding of hazard risk and increase the likelihood they will adopt appropriate hazard adjustment behaviours. These programs may also result in increased discussion of hazards in the family, which is an essential part of the government’s current goal of enforcing community-based hazard management initiatives. It is for these reasons that the educational programs, such as Western Australia's Department of Fire and Emergency Services ‘Emergency Helpers in the Community and Me’ program, are so important. However, no instructional system is complete without an evaluation to determine if the design and delivery of the program is effective.

The aim of this research was to evaluate the ‘Emergency Helpers in the Community and Me!’ program. This evaluation specifically investigated how the program influences the level of hazard response knowledge in children who participate in the program as well as in teachers and parents who accompany the children. The knowledge, skills and abilities which children acquire from the program were measured. In addition, the study also explored the extent to which the children’s homes and schools are also influenced by the program.

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