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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 3, January/February 2004

Unnatural disasters

Natural disasters that affect people and their environment are sometimes not really natural. Rather, they are a consequence of human action. Whole communities are wiped out by landslides as a hurricane sweeps through Central America—because people have built on cliffs above them and weakened the soil. Wildfires sweep through large areas where homes are built in the forest.

CoDevelopment Canada has developed a teaching unit called "Not So Natural Disasters" to deal with such issues and is offering teachers a free workshop on using the unit.

The teaching unit helps students develop awareness and understanding of natural disasters and climate change (and their consequences) in Canada and on a global scale and the relationship of human activities to those changes and disasters. Two versions exist: one for elementary, and the other for secondary grades.

CoDevelopment Canada is offering the workshop on the elementary version of the unit on Saturday, February 28, at the BCTF building in Vancouver. Participants will receive a free copy of the unit. The workshop is co-sponsored by the BCTF International Solidarity Program.

The unit includes student handouts ready for copying, and it has links with B.C. Ministry-of-Education-prescribed learning objectives in several subject areas. Details of this and other CoDevelopment Canada units are available on www.codev.org/codev/. The units have been developed with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency.

Although there is no cost for the workshop, pre-registration is required. To reserve a place, contact Leona Dolan at the BCTF, 604-871-2250 or ldolan@bctf.ca .

Do you speak Portuguese?
The BCTF International Solidarity Program, along with the CTF is developing a new program to assist teachers and their union in Mozambique. There may be opportunities for Portugese-speaking teachers to offer professional development programs in Mozambique. If you are interested, please contact Leona Dolan at ldolan@bctf.ca.

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