Road safety education integrated into school curriculum
Road safety education (RSE) is closer to being incorporated into SA's school curriculum with MAC's latest investment into teacher professional development.
In recognition of the strong influence school teachers can have on their students, MAC in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) and Department for Education and Child Development, have developed a road safety program to provide relevant materials to teachers as a form of professional development.
MAC Chief Executive Officer Jerome Maguire said road trauma is a major community health issue - of particular concern are the disproportionate rates of death and injury among young people.
“RSE is an effective means of developing positive attitudes and safer behaviours, and aims to ensure students act in responsible ways on the road as passenger, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers,” Mr Maguire said.
“Today’s teachers need to participate in at least 40 hours of professional development. This initiative, known as ‘PDplus’, uses maths and science to emphasise that driving a few kilometres over the legal speed limit is dangerous and socially unacceptable.
“We’ve provided an invaluable resource to teachers, simplifying the complex topic of speeding, and providing resources for use in the classroom.
“The modules provide education to years 7-9 and 10-11 teachers, and are available to all South Australian Public and Private Schools through the RiAus website.
“The education involves an interactive online seminar from two featured road safety experts, followed by an interactive online discussion with teachers.
“Teachers can download notes comprising of simple explanations, links to relevant journals, MAC campaigns, interviews, and classroom activities.
“One of the main issues associated with the addition of subjects to the school curriculum is that of space. We’re assisting teachers by providing resources to engage and involve their students in relevant curriculum aligned topics.
“This program can be integrated within existing subjects such as science, physics or maths.
“MAC is continually seeking innovative ways to improve road safety knowledge and promote safe, responsible road use.
“Speeding is still the major cause of death and injury on our roads, and ‘Creeping’ just a bit over the speed limit has enormous human and social costs.
“Teachers have a great impact on student learning. By better educating teachers their students will hopefully recognise that ‘Creeping’ is a dangerous behaviour.
“At the end of the day RSE is about creating responsible attitudes to enable young people to be safer road users and to apply positive attitudes in the future activity as drivers.
“We recognise that RSE is one of the many competing social and health related subjects, and its standing can be reinforced using a cross-curricular approach.
“Ultimately we’d like RSE taught as a discrete subject. We believe this initiative is a step closer towards this goal,” Mr Maguire said.
Mr Michael Lucas, science teacher at Christian Brothers College (CBC), said it is crucial to provide young adults with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to survive on our roads.
“Every death is horrendous, particularly when it is so preventable,” Mr Lucas said.
“Teachers can play a vital role by incorporating RSE into lessons and engaging in activities which support peers and parents in their role of teaching life-saving messages. “
PDPlus is a program that can be easily incorporated into lesson plans. I’m confident this program will contribute to a safer future for our students,” Mr Lucas said.
The MAC PDplus road safety initiative will be launched live from the RiAus website, (www.riaus.org.au) on Wednesday 31 October at 3:45pm-4:30pm to all South Australian teachers. The education will remain on the RiAus website for continual reference.
Watch what MAC’s PDplus road safety initiative is all about here http://tinyurl.com/d74btba