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The Human Impact of Natural Disasters: Issues for the Inquiry-based Classroom

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The Human Impact of Natural Disasters: Issues for the Inquiry-based Classroom

Edited by Valerie Ooka Pang, William R. Fernekes, and Jack L. Nelson
NCSS Bulletin 110, 113 pp., 2010

When catastrophe strikes in the form of natural disasters, many questions spring to mind: How did this happen? What can be done to protect against these disasters in future, or to respond better to them? How can we help the survivors? The examination of these questions engages many social studies disciplines-history, geography, civics, economics, and the other social sciences.

This book shows the value of making natural disasters a focus of the inquiry-based social studies classroom. Its opening section examines disasters through the lens of history and geography, describing their psychological impact and their political effects. Part 2 presents case studies of the Haitian earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, disasters in Nepal, the impact of disasters on women in sub-Saharan Africa, and an account of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which was created by Muhammad Yunus in response to the ravages of floods. The third part of the book examines disasters from a human rights perspective, analyzing the impact of these catastrophes on socially vulnerable groups, such as displaced persons, people with disabilities, and children. The book concludes with educational recommendations and resources. Lesson plans or class activities based on different themes of the national social studies standards are also included in most chapters.

A guiding thread of the entire volume is the commitment of its contributors to human rights education in an inquiry-based classroom.

Orders ship starting the week of November 15, 2010