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69 Traffic safety education: its support in the curriculum, culture and work of schools in Finland
  1. Satu Tuomikoski,
  2. Laura Loikkanen
  1. Liikenneturva – Finnish Road Safety Council, Finland

Abstract

Background Traffic accidents are the number one cause of bodily injuries to children and adolescents. The number of traffic accidents increases as children begin to walk and cycle independently. Expectations for traffic safety education given at school are great but according to many reports, the level and extent of traffic safety education varies greatly from school to school.

Objective In the curriculum reform there was a strong need to secure the quality and extent of traffic safety education while training teachers in practical traffic safety education. Expertise in traffic safety education was offered to those preparing the core curriculum with concrete suggestions about content. Teacher training and updating education were used to increase teachers’ knowledge of traffic safety education and to motivate them with practical exercises. The aim was to make traffic safety education in schools more systematic and consistent throughout basic education so that each grade would be given at least 4 hours of traffic safety education integrated into various subjects.

Results Traffic safety education is specified in the content for all grades in the new basic education core curriculum. It is a solid foundation for county and school specific curricula. In the feedback of the 2010–2014 teachers’ updating education projects the evaluation of the content and usefulness were excellent and all participants recommended the training to their colleagues. A feedback survey was carried out a year later: most of the respondents still considered the training beneficial. The teachers who attended the day long training belong to a network that is kept informed about current traffic safety related issues.

Conclusions Traffic safety is highly valued but the need to focus on traffic safety education in schools is not always seen. Constant support for schools is paramount and it includes training and motivating teachers, developing new exercises and materials and lobbying at policy level.

  • Traffic safety
  • Traffic Safety Education
  • Basic Education Core Curriculum
  • Teachers’ updating education

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