Learning styles when teaching road safety

One of the perceptions that some people have is that young people find road safety a rather dry subject. To compensate for this they employ an approach to learning that is hard hitting in style.

Consider a mix of learning styles

As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to employ a variety of learning styles, but a hard-hitting approach should rarely, if ever, be used.

The approach to learning, which has been embraced by the Curriculum for Excellence, is one that encourages participation, questioning and collaboration. Employing creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. There is a place for passive learning but only as a part of the learners overall experience.

Tailor your activity to the group you’re speaking to

It’s important to tailor the learning activity to suit the group you’re speaking to. If it’s a large mixed ability group in a lecture theatre you will need to consider how best to engage them. Making a pitch for the middle ground can engage some but perhaps not everyone.

Having a smaller group will give you more opportunity to invite the young people to get involved in their own learning, have a chance to answer their questions and discuss commonly held misconceptions about road safety.

Cooperative and collaborative learning

A ‘good’ learning environment is necessarily a quiet one; learning is frequently most effective when learners have the opportunity to think and talk together, to discuss ideas, question, analyse and solve problems, without the constant mediation of the supervising adult.

Although these approaches vary to some extent, essentially they all promote the idea that young people’s learning is best served when they have opportunities to learn with and from each other, and are shown how to do so effectively.