Development of radiation education in schools after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident — a study from the perspectives of regionality, multidisciplinarity and continuity.
- Category: Articles
- Published: Friday, 22 January 2021 16:55
KURODA Y., TSUBOKURA M., SASAKI K., HARA T., CHIBA A., MASHIKO K. and SCHNEIDER T.
Radioprotection 2020, 55(4), 317–324.
This study was designed to examine how teachers in Fukushima Prefecture have shaped radiation education and gained consensus on radiation-related issues since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. We interviewed teachers and external experts who have been conducting radiation education since the nuclear accident, ascertaining their focus in introducing and implementing radiation education and the lessons they have learned. We then qualitatively analyzed the results. There was no practical radiation course of study (Shido Yoryo) to follow immediately after the disaster, so teachers individually devised curricula according to the developmental stages of their students. Their aims were to (1) tailor lesson structure to the students’ anxieties and distress, (2) promote students’ activities through knowledge and linkage to their daily lives via radiation measurements and disaster site visits, and (3) enable the students to self-educate and to take informed decision. These objectives required the implementation of continuous, multidisciplinary radiation education to enable the students to understand the impacts of the nuclear accident and enhance the resilience of children growing up in Fukushima, allowing them to overpass the rumor and stigma and to adopt adequate protective measures to face the remaining radiation in their environment. As nearly 10 years has passed since the accident, radiation education at schools has reached a turning point. While social interest in radiation education is waning, it is hard to say that adequate radiation knowledge has taken root among students, and therefore it is necessary to consider how radiation education should be delivered in the future. Such curricula based on the experiences of Fukushima Prefecture should be shared internationally in preparation for potential future accidents.