EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Paired teaching approach to earthquake education: a cross-country comparison between Dushanbe, Tajikistan and London, United Kingdom

Solmaz Mohadjer1, Sebastian Mutz1, Matthew Kemp2, Sophie Gill2, Anatoly Ischuk3, and Todd Ehlers1
Solmaz Mohadjer et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 3Institute of Geology, Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, The Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Lack of access to science-based natural hazards information impedes the effectiveness of school-based disaster risk reduction education. To address this challenge, we have created 10 geosciences video lessons ( that follow an innovative pedagogy known as paired teaching. This approach is used to supplement the standard school curriculum with video lessons instructed by geoscientists from around the world and activities carried out by local classroom teachers.

To evaluate the effectiveness of these virtual lessons, we tested selected videos with 38 sixth grade students (12 years of age) and 39 nine grade students (12-13 years of age) from two school classes in Dushanbe (Tajikistan) and London (United Kingdom), respectively. By examining the same videos with two different groups of student populations, we aimed to identify potential factors (e.g., geographic location, culture, level of hazard experience) influencing students’ learning and/or teachers’ teaching of natural hazard information. We asked students from both groups to complete questionnaires before and after video implementations. Questionnaires probed students on topics covered by each video including the Earth’s interior, tectonic plate boundaries, and nonstructural hazards.  

Prior to video implementation, a significant percentage of students from Dushanbe (71%) and from London (51%) demonstrated no conceptual framework about the Earth’s interior. However, when asked about the causes of earthquakes, 90% of London students mentioned plate tectonics in their responses while 51% of Dushanbe students only made references to mountains and volcanoes. Both groups responded similarly to questions concerning earthquake forecasting where most students said it is possible to know the location of future earthquakes, but not their exact time of occurrence. Similarly, both groups demonstrated some knowledge of nonstructural hazards found in typical school classrooms prior to video testing. Following video implementation, a notable portion of Tajik students (71%) showed an increased level of understanding of the Earth’s interior. This is 40% higher than the level of improvement observed in the responses of the UK students. Tajik students showed little improvement (23%) in their understanding of the causes of earthquakes, and continued to list mountains and volcanoes as the primary reasons for earthquake occurrence. For nonstructural hazards identification, both groups showed significant improvement in classroom hazard identification (60% and 80% for Dushanbe and London groups, respectively).  

Our video testing and result comparison between two groups reveal a number of factors affecting curriculum testing (e.g., level of teachers’ participation and suitable classroom culture) and students’ learning of content (e.g., past hazard experience). In this presentation, we discuss these factors and how to maximize the impact of school-based risk reduction education.  

How to cite: Mohadjer, S., Mutz, S., Kemp, M., Gill, S., Ischuk, A., and Ehlers, T.: Paired teaching approach to earthquake education: a cross-country comparison between Dushanbe, Tajikistan and London, United Kingdom, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11230,, 2020

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