Flood education forms a key element in preparedness strategies to increase flood risk awareness, and empower floodplain communities to act to manage personal risk. Flood science is variably part of education programmes, and yet has potential to increase communities’ capacity to make informed judgements about local risk, and potential mitigation options. The paper draws on action research from two community science engagement projects facilitated by the author in the lower River Severn catchment, UK. Five key questions around community flood science education are explored:
1. Why should the public in community settings engage with flood science?
2. How do the nature of floods, flood risk and flood science impact on approaches to engagement for learning?
3. What should be the relationship between expert flood science and informal science in establishing what should be learnt?
4. What are the key questions for learning in community flood science?
5. What pedagogic approaches to flood science engagement work for the public in community settings?
The paper then examines different active learning approaches and settings for community flood science education, and positions these within broader ‘science and society’ contexts for capacity building and empowering communities in the face of changing flood risk.
|Keywords:||Flood Science, Science Engagement, Flood Risk, Social Learning, Expert Knowledge, Informal Knowledge, Learning Approaches, Flood Education, Learning Communities|
Professor in Physical Geography, Physical Geography, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK