An approach to road safety education - in the senior school
Although road safety education has been delivered in all NSW schools as part of a mandatory curriculum for the last seventeen years, evidence confirms that road safety for adolescents is based, not simply on knowledge, but on the attitudes and behaviours of young people using the road environment.
The redevelopment of the NSW secondary school road safety education resources has sought to address the ways in which road safety is communicated to young people within the school environment.
Whilst road safety education is a mandatory component in the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) syllabus in both Primary (K-6) and Secondary (Years 7-10), there is no such pathway in the senior schools years (Years 11-12).
A strategy to address this gap was to develop a resource that met the needs of both the students and teachers in the only mandatory course in the senior school year ? English. In the driver?s seat ? the nature of authority, examines the concept and value of advertising to promote road safety messages to young people. The new resource includes support materials such as teacher notes, teaching and learning strategies as well as lesson plans linking the curriculum based activities to the NSW mandatory English Preliminary Syllabus.
The development of the resource has utilised a variety of multi-media materials to meet the needs of the targeted curriculum. The resource is based on existing RTA television, cinema, printed and radio advertisements and posters/brochures. State-wide professional development for English teachers on the use of the resource is being provided as part of this resource?s implementation in a two phase program.
The first phase was to support all NSW English teachers with a personal copy of the resource after attending a two hour workshop held outside school hours (evenings or weekends) conducted by trained presenters through the NSW English Teacher?s Association (NSWETA) ? the writers of the teaching and learning strategies resource materials. This phase has now concluded.
The second phase of the implementation strategy is conducting the professional development sessions through the education sectors with schools that attend receiving copies of the resource during the remainder of the 2008 school year.
This paper provides an opportunity for those working in road safety, in a variety of settings, to consider the concept of road safety using a framework that can be adapted to meet the needs of the audience. This model of delivery has been trialed by students and teachers and received substantial endorsement as a tool for influencing the attitudes and beliefs of young people with regard to road safety.