School of Education and the Arts
Medical and Health Sciences| Education
Prof Ken Purnell, Dr Helen Keen-Dyer, Dr Katharine Haynes
Doctor of Philosophy

Research Details

Thesis Name

Agency experts supporting bush fire disaster resilience education with Primary School students: A Case Study in New South Wales, Australia

Thesis Abstract

This research will explore how volunteer firefighters acting as expert partners in classrooms influence Year 5 and 6 education and disaster resilience outcomes during a bush fire unit of study. There is no research measuring the outside expert's influence on student learning outcomes; little understanding of the enablers and barriers to consistent, sustained and quality support from experts; and limited published research on the application of inquiry learning approaches in the context of teachers.

Why my research is important/Impacts

The new knowledge will reside in the social connections, interactions, collaborations, and knowledge sharing between teachers, students, parents/carers and the emergency service agency expert partners. The work considers the real-world challenges of bushfire risk and disaster risk reduction in a local context and is engaged wholly with educators and emergency services to deliver research that will make a difference to young people in their local setting. The findings will pave the way for longer-term research and scaled implementation of approaches to DRE programming at Stage 3 that supports and integrates school-based and teacher-delivered disaster resilience education.


NSW Department of Education

Warrimoo Public School

NSW Rural Fire Service