An Interdisciplinary Approach to Developing Innovative Teaching Strategies For Responding to Global Disaster Disasters


  • Jenny L. Jones Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Karen Smith Rotabi Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Jason K. Levy
  • Lisa A. Gray



Globalization, disaster relief, human rights, faculty learning community, interdisciplinary, natural disaster


This paper summarizes the development of an interdisciplinary Faculty Learning Community (FLC) bringing together the Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Social Work and Government and Public Affairs, Department of Homeland Security to develop an in depth, comprehensive pedagogical approach to the many issues associated with disaster risk reduction. As the title suggests, this is an interdisciplinary team that explores learning and demonstrates learning models. This particular FLC focuses on understanding the antecedent conditions and root causes of disaster events. We explore best practices to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for such events in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum with an emphasis on homeland security and social work. The FLC is an example of a non-traditional educational model providing content on disaster risk, response, and global impact. This particular FLC was committed to bringing together appropriate expertise from the academic setting as well as inviting community members and organizations into the classroom to share the “lived experience” and intuitive knowledge about disaster.

Author Biography

Jenny L. Jones, Virginia Commonwealth University

Associate Professor (tenured) Social Work