Increasing Weather Awareness - Hurricanes
The assessment determined there were 18.5 million public school students enrolled in some 31,000 schools in the coastal states extending from Texas to Maine during the 1976-77 school year. In spite of the vulnerability of the Gulf and Atlantic coastal areas to major hurricane landfalls, almost none of the coastal states offered hurricane instruction beyond that found in conventional curricular materials. State education department personnel interviewed in the study were in agreement that the need exists for additional school-based hurricane instruction in their states. The consensus was that relatively short instructional units containing at least some locally-oriented materials would have excellent potential for widespread implementation in existing courses taught in coastal schools. It was also concluded that hurricane instruction should be approached from a broad perspective including scientific and social aspects and, preferably, after learning experiences on general weather awareness have been presented. The study also found that in the majority of states information and expertise exist for the development of locally-based curricular material components, and key education personnel are available to assist in implementation efforts. The study concludes by recommending that a pilot study be undertaken to develop curricular materials and devise implementation strategies leading to eventual school-based hurricane awareness instruction in all threatened coastal areas.