The road safety education programme : a journey into the school curriculum.
This study's aim was to solicit the beliefs, attitudes and perceptions of the teachers to the implementation of the road safety education programme in the context of curriculum change in five primary schools in the Pietermaritzburg Region. It is the beliefs and the attitudes of the teachers that imply assumptions about curriculum change and implementation that was the major focus of this study. The implementation of the road safety education programme was studied in the context of curriculum change. This was done by using a qualitative research methodology. A case study research method was employed to gather data. Through semi-structured teacher interviews, classroom observations and learner administered questionnaires, the researcher was able to answer the three critical questions of the study. For the analysis of the data, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used. The analysis of the data revealed that despite the teaching and learning constraints that teachers experience in the classroom with implementing curriculum change, they do the best that they can. They implemented the road safety education programme in very innovative and interactive ways. Feedback from teacher interviews regarding the implementation of the road safety education programme, indicated that it was a good programme which was well developed and aligned to the Revised National Curriculum Statement. It was informative and provided learners with a wide range of age appropriate knowledge and expertise to make them safe and responsible road users. This study also revealed the gaps in the literature where road safety education and its implementation, is concerned. This study makes a number of recommendations for successful curriculum implementation in the context of change. Because of the qualitative nature of the data collected it was difficult to establish whether there was, in fact behavioural changes regarding safe and responsible road user behaviour. Therefore the study recommends that more research must be carried out on the implementation of the road safety education programme because this study only represented five primary schools. This study also emphasized the importance of implementing road safety education from grade R to Grade 12 to enhance safe and responsible road user behaviour. This may be useful in reinforcing safe and responsible road user behaviour. Twelve years of road safety education will definitely have a cumulative effect which will be beneficial to the learner. A permanent space must be found in the CAPS school curricula to deliver appropriate and effective road safety education from Grade R to Grade 12. The basic epistemological approach of the research reflects the importance of moving beyond universal truths about implementation as a complex and highly contingent enterprise in which variations is the rule rather than the exception. This study subsequently concluded that the successful implementation of the road safety education programme was dependent on the teacher‟s beliefs, attitudes and perceptions of the innovation.