ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Expanding our Concept of Best Practice in Road Safety Education -A Review of Current Evidence and Practice

Elkington, Dr Jane

Education

2003

The purpose of this research was to identify current practice and current evidence on best practice in road safety education (RSE) for primary school children. A review of the literature and websites and interviews with 30 key informants in road safety education were conducted. Articles and reports were assessed against criteria on quality of evidence. Interview responses were summarised by qualitative assessment processes examining key themes and directions. Findings indicated current practice in RSE focuses on classroom techniques with growing attention to curriculum-based learning that is largely teacher delivered and involves elements of participative learning. Outcomes of interest focus on the development of appropriate road safety knowledge and attitudes; few addressed behaviour. There is still support for the established best-practice principles of classroom lesson-based RSE, that is being teacher delivered, curriculum-based, involve participative learning, narrow in focus and delivered over multiple occasions. However, there is growing evidence and shifting practice towards extending the concept of RSE beyond an emphasis on knowledge and attitude development. Many key research authorities and their publications indicate that when it comes to RSE for children, newly recognised elements of best practice include: strong practical training components in the real environment, involvement of parents, strategies that address the learning styles of boys, and strategies that are supported through whole-of-school and whole-of-community approaches. These latter elements seek to build skills that are learned amidst the reality of complex real environments and reinforced through the support of parents, schools and communities.