Evaluation of a Curriculum-based Training Program for Novice Drivers from the
Perspective of Teachers, Students and Parents.
Obtaining a Learner’s Permit in Australia has traditionally involved undertaking a standardised written test. The Australian Capital Territory began to move away from this approach in 2000 with the introduction of Road Ready, a curriculum-based training program.
Road Ready, developed by the Department of Urban Services, is a comprehensive, well resourced unit included within the Year 10 curriculum of most ACT schools. Although its placement within the educational program varies, the unit itself covers a clearly defined set of topics divided into a number of lessons. Extensive training is provided to teachers delivering the program to ensure their familiarity with the course philosophy, content and resources.
Road Ready offers the first major shift in driver education in Australia and, as such, has been the focus of extensive evaluation. Key questions, for researchers, funding agencies and government departments alike, have focused on the appropriateness of the methodology and the impact of curriculum-based driver education on student awareness of road safety.
This paper describes Road Ready and the responses of teachers, parents and students involved in the ACT’s driver education initiative. In addition, it summarises the key factors to be addressed in the implementation of similar curriculum-based programs and draws upon the findings outlined in Evaluation of the ACT Novice Driver Safety Program1 to highlight potential areas of concern.