Public education for disaster management : a phenomenographic investigation

Nielsen, Samuel William (2005) Public education for disaster management : a phenomenographic investigation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Many recent developments in education theory and the field of disaster management have left the meaning of public education as applied in the disaster management field fraught with uncertainty. This thesis addresses this uncertainty via a phenomenographic research study that sheds light on the meaning of public education, despite such uncertainty, by revealing a discrete number of qualitatively different ways in which disaster managers and disaster educators experience and understand public education. Transcriptions of interviews of 25 such senior Australian disaster managers and educators were analysed using phenomenographic methods and revealed a set of discrete, parsimonious and qualitatively different ways of experiencing public education. The referential component of the different ways of experiencing was revealed within ten emergent categories of description for public education: (i) a non-effective process; (ii) a way of managing a public issue; (iii) promoting an issue; (iv) issuing expert instructions; (v) changing individuals; (vi) strategic teaching and training; (vii) collaborative partnerships; (viii) empowering learners to make informed decisions; (ix) negotiation; and (x) element in societal learning. The structural component of the emergent ways of experiencing public education was presented in the form of a phenomenographic outcome space. Linkages between these findings about public education and current literature were made. The results suggested multiple ways to improve public education within the disaster management community and more widely. The need for clarity in communication amongst educators and professionals in regard to public education was confirmed by the research findings. Insights into phenomenography and education were included within the discussion.

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ID Code: 16162
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Lidstone, John & Hansford, Brian
Keywords: Phenomenography; phenomenon; public education; community education; disaster; hazard; disaster management; risk; interpretive; experience; understanding
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:57
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:44

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