'Preparedness pedagogies' and race: an interdisciplinary approach

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Education
Department Name: Lifelong and Comparative Education


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Chakrabarty N (2011) The uncanny character of race: an exploration of UK preparedness through youth performance in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance

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Namita Chakrabarty (author) (2012) Buried alive : cultural absence in civil defence preparedness in Race, ethicity and education

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Preston J (2012) Disaster Education

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Preston J (2012) Disaster Education

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Preston J (2012) Disaster Education

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Preston J (2012) Disaster Education

Description 1. Contemporary preparedness makes use of a spectrum of pedagogies

including public and dramaturgical.

Contemporary preparedness efforts rely on a mixture of pedagogies. The use of text

instructions, memory aids, reconstruction activities, and information technologies and

video are frequently part of the pedagogical mix that becomes part of a fused pedagogy of affect, behaviour, and cognition. These can be analysed not just in terms of 'conventional' pedagogical categories.

Firstly, they can be examined as public pedagogies, popular cultural forms that are pedagogical through enactment rather than (necessarily) direct teaching.

Secondly, drama and performance are employed in contemporary sites of preparedness to produce 'theatres of survival' which are often racially orientated towards the representation of and prioritising of 'white' racial interests. This points towards understanding contemporary preparedness as not only multi-modal and pedagogical but increasingly using new pedagogical techniques (the public and the dramaturgical). This finding has informed future research through an EPSRC and ESRC funded project (John Preston PI) 'Game Theory and Adaptive Networks for Smart Evacuations' (October 2010-October 2012) which will examine the ways in which we can understand and improve city evacuations as 'co-produced' by the public, usingmulti-modal technologies.

2. Race, 'tacit intentionality' and the 'absent presence' of 'race' in


In none of our research did we encounter any participant who was prejudiced or any

evidence of overt racism in policy. However, tacitly assumptions were often made

which could disadvantage BME people. Following the work of Gillborn, we would

refer to these as 'tacit intentionality' in that by not taking 'race' explicitly into account in preparedness or policy planning some are tacitly advantaged or disadvantaged. Preparedness materials which advantage 'whites' also intersect with other social characteristics such as masculinity.

Examples of good practice included awareness of multiple language materials, taking

into account access to material resources in preparedness planning.

3. Who is preparedness for?

In our focus group research a common finding was that no one considered that

preparedness was 'for them'. This lack of connection (and sometimes outright

rejection) of preparedness was due to issues of representation and consultation.
Exploitation Route The research highlights to central and local government the importance of racial and other types of equity in emergency and preparedness planning. Scientific impacts

The project will have impacts in terms of the design of preparedness materials. We have

alerted our networks to our findings via our website. Chakrabarty has developed

considerable local authority, national and international contacts in this area of research

that could lead to future collaborations and we have existing, and expected, future grant

funding for work in this area as detailed above.

This project has made important developments in Critical Race Theory, public pedagogy

and performance theory, bringing these areas together in an inter-disciplinary fashion.

We and will continue to present our work in high status journals, books and at

international conferences. An anticipated future impact will also be a synoptic book as

we build up a body of work from this project.

Economic and Social impacts

The project has emphasised the importance of the inclusion of BME groups in

preparedness planning and the importance of this for equity. We will continue to

present our work at conferences with a practice / academic / social justice focus (as

Chakrabarty 2010a, 2010b, 2010c) and to work with groups outside of academia

('Emergency Exercise 2010' as part of the ESRC festival of social science being one

Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Security and Diplomacy

URL http://s290179663.websitehome.co.uk/prepare/
Description The project involved research into race equality in disaster education and was conducted in close collaboration with the Cabinet Office, private sector disaster education professionals, community groups (East London Mosque and Essex Neighbourhood Watch groups), and local education authorities (Sussex). These findings informed subsequent work developing research tools and hypothesising new approaches to public education in the field of disaster preparation and response by government and local authorities. Notable among those is Chakrabarty's innovative application of theatre education methods to pedagogic interventions for social justice in disaster education. This novel methodology attracted further ESRC support as part of the Council's 2010 `Festival of Social Science', in which Chakrabarty involved Further Education students and Sussex local authority emergency policy planners to her simulation of an emergency exercise known as `Operation Snowman'. Jennifer Cole of RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) was interested in the findings in terms of community preparedness.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Policy & public services