From caring about to caring for: case studies of New Zealand and Japanese schools post disaster

This article presents two case studies of the experiences and the responses of schools in New Zealand and Japan in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes that struck these countries in 2011. Although the magnitude of the events is significantly different, the authors argue that there are many similarities in their responses. These provide an opportunity to consider the manner in which schools in other settings might prepare for such events. This comparative case study includes practical recommendations for schools to consider in their pastoral care of students in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Research in New Zealand and Japan, undertaken separately by the authors, attempted to capture the voices of principals, teachers and students to inform a series of recommendations and guidelines created from the real-life experiences of the research participants. They were collected with the primary focus of wishing to better inform the decision-making responsibilities of others who may be in a similar situation, or to guide future disaster prevention and management policies in schools.

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