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Don't panic - help children assess the real risk

PUPILS should be taught about risk to stop them panicking in the face of events such as the Sars outbreak, the Geography Association's chief executive has said.

David Lambert told The TES that the curriculum gave pupils little chance to respond to media coverage of, for example, disease "epidemics" and genetically modified food.

He said: "When pupils read about a certain number of people dying in China from a disease, and it seems worldwide panic has ensued, what should be their reaction? A proper grasp of the concept of risk would help them here."

Mr Lambert said that pupils were usually taught risk through mathematical probability, which "turned a lot of people off".

Mr Lambert will approach Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, with the idea of a pilot scheme to get geography pupils to think critically about information they receive.

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