TravelSmart - a better way to goSpacer
Green Line
Tram
TravelSmart - a better way to goSpacer
Spacer
Spacer

TRAINING OF TRAVELSMART OFFICERS, 2003

Packaging the Travel Choices : SCHOOLS

Curriculum-based Programs

Overview and Objectives

Curriculum-based programs are educational programs designed for schools to introduce the concept of transport choices to primary aged children from year 3 onwards. Some states are also starting to introduce TravelSmart curriculum programs into the secondary schools. The curriculum is usually designed to run for one term of the school year.

Children learn about Travelsmart

An Education Consultant from the state road authority assists the school to implement a program that best suits the individual school environment. In conjunction with a TravelSmart officer from the local council, the education consultant may work with the relevant members of the school community to form a partnership for ongoing support.

Key objectives of Curriculum Programs

Achieving these objectives requires an understanding of the individual school environment. There is considerable state variation in the curriculum programs currently running. State education systems will determine how curriculum programs can be incorporated into the school. The type of system will greatly impact on the challenges and opportunities for introducing and maintaining an effective program.

Program Features

Curriculum Based Programs provide the educational component of TravelSmart to School. Features common to most programs include:

Some States will also use Travel Diaries to introduce the concept of travel habits. The children and their families record their travel activities in the diaries to gain awareness of what type of travel choices they are currently making. The diaries are then collated and used for activities in the classroom to introduce travel options, journey planning techniques and environmental and health impacts.

Riding bikes to school

In Western Australia, programs have been introduced into secondary schools. The Curriculum Program is introduced into Society and Environmental Studies. The types of activities are designed to suit a more independent age group and focus on a peer led structure to encourage engagement by the students.

South Australia is developing a junior primary curriculum. To cater for the younger age group, big picture books, song and art projects will replace the more advanced activities.

It is important to keep in mind that there are differences in the various State education systems. The two main types of curriculum programs currently running in Australia are each linked to different approaches to the TravelSmart Schools curriculum. Those curriculum types can be characterised as either:

These are important distinctions to discuss with your education Consultant/Coordinator. The main impact will be on the time and complexity of delivery required by the teacher. It will impact on the level of positive engagement by the school.

To implement the curriculum into the school environment teachers attend a half to one-day workshop. It is an important component and can influence the effectiveness of the program because it:

Some states offer Teacher Relief Vouchers to schools. The advantage of this incentive is that the teacher's load will be covered while away from the school at the training workshop. Planning for the program's impact on the individual teacher and school can increase the level of engagement, commitment to the program and ongoing sustainability. These are very important considerations.

Commitment to this program is crucial. Schools must be informed of the requirements of the program prior to commencing. Introducing this program to schools that lack enthusiasm can result in insufficient time and effort resulting in minimal outcomes or the program having a short life at the school.

Implementation Issues

Issues of relevance to the implementation of Curriculum-based programs include:

State Variations

State variations in the structure of education have a significant impact on TravelSmart Curriculum Programs. Understanding the impacts of a state education system is important. Find out:

Your state education consultant/coordinator will be able to assist you with these questions. Make sure you know the answers before talking to any teachers.

Time Commitments

Teachers are time poor. Time out of the classroom is precious and needed to plan for activities and contribute to other school demands - reports, special duties, parent teacher nights etc. Asking teachers to incorporate additional work into their schedule may not be well received.

Each one of us has a vision for our future

Any additional curriculum requirements or collation of data will require careful introduction. You can help by:

How you introduce the time commitment required is important. It is necessary to frame information positively as a time saver.

Example:

By linking this particular TravelSmart project into your sessions on environmental issues, you can incorporate an interesting experiential activity that covers both topics. (You can use specific examples according to the type of curriculum in your state).

Alternative Options

The commitment required for a school to run the Curriculum programs is high.

Suggest alternatives to the curriculum program (for example, events or activities) if the current status of the education system is too complicated to support a term dedicated to TravelSmart.

Example:

Western Australia has a fixed curriculum that is currently undergoing considerable change. Not all subjects are ready to align to the new structure. Planning the TravelSmart curriculum to align with these subjects is a major undertaking by all parties. Alternative options in the form of an event that is incorporated into the curriculum have been offered. The school still offers a component of the curriculum material but at a School/Teacher friendly level. Creative and innovative implementation has successfully challenged local issues eg: the Magical Mystery Tour.

Teacher Friendly and Flexibility

Knowing how to make your Curriculum Program appear Teacher Friendly will influence the school's willingness to engage and commit. The success of the program is dependent on each teacher's willingness to be supportive.

Find out the teachers preferred style of planning and delivery. Do they prefer to use resources provided and stick to a given format? Alternatively, are they confident with their own ability to create activities and projects that incorporate the learning outcomes of the program?

Finding room for flexibility for the individual teacher helps tailor a suitable program that may be positively received. Look for opportunities to promote options. Ask the questions that assist you to establish the teacher's needs and confidence levels in the classroom.

Opportunities

Schools are very transient populations. Not only do students come and go but teachers also move between schools. This allows for a cross pollination of knowledge. If a teacher has a positive TravelSmart experience they can act as a wonderful advocate in their next school. Locating such advocates can enhance your promotions within schools as you already have someone who can enthusiastically relate their experiences first hand to other teachers and members of the school community.

Keep in regular contact with the school to introduce opportunities for involvement to new staff and track any feedback. Use the positive feedback for further TravelSmart promotions. Act on negative feedback that may affect the program.