Investigations have revealed that 70% of road accidents in Iran are due to human error. Educating young learners with fun will facilitate institutionalizing proper traffic behaviors, which can be one of the solutions. Here is our step towards safety.
In our Individuals and societies class we have been concerned with issues such as urbanization and the problems of living in urban areas. In addition, as IB learners, we are familiar with global concerns like regulations and laws and following and respecting them. Generally, we are aware of global and local issues and we have always tried to follow the IB mission which is changing the world into a better place through education.
During research for an activity in our book related to death rates and causes of death, we realized that the first cause of death for Iranian children and the third cause of adolescent deaths are road accidents. Our inquiries and investigation using reliable resources have revealed that 70% of road accidents in our country are due to human error. Enough knowledge about road and driving rules can influence such factors and eliminate them gradually. Acknowledging the aforementioned issues and possible solutions, we decided to devote our time to educating young students through a campaign under the umbrella term ‘Road Safety Awareness’, so that they learn about basic traffic regulations for drivers and pedestrians in their own language. Through this project, we have shared in raising awareness about driving regulations, we have also provide an opportunity for kindergarten students to practice them so that there will be a reduction in the possibility of road accidents.
Conducting a qualitative research, we utilized the interviewing method to acquire in-depth information from interviewees, including an experienced journalist and a police officer. We aimed to gain some information about Iranian people's opinions of driving habits, behaviors and the extent to which they follow the rules. We set up some questions regarding problems and solutions to the topic. We collected all the data and later had a meeting with a police officer who gave all the details we needed about traffic regulations and the drawbacks in that area. The journalist, Mr.Narjeh, had written three articles and provided us with a copy that we studied carefully.
We analyzed our data and the main results to enhance the safety of Iranian roads that we found were: comprehensibility and clarity of traffic laws or regulations, followed by respecting and following them. Therefore, we collected some of the basic but vital laws and regulations which have considerable prominence in amending and improving traffic behaviors; for instance, the meaning of traffic light signals, rules related to pedestrian crossing areas, speed limits, and so on.
We realized that in order to institutionalize a belief or culture, we should employ education systems to serve our purpose. As a result, we decided to hold a campaign to raise future generations’ awareness and also teach them the substantial regulations. In this campaign, young students would learn in a fun and appealing environment. We focused on the preschool section of our own educational complex as they are part of our country’s future generation and we can impact on our society by educating them. It also should be mentioned that educating young learners will definitely involve families at home, since parents will take the responsibility to implement the correct traffic behavior.
Considering an appealing and fun approach toward learning, we decided to choose a day and call it “Traffic Day” at our school, in which preschool students would experience a day on a replica of a street environment. The requisite of such an educational experience was gaining information about simple and basic regulations and laws.
The school provided us with all the material that we needed to make cars, curbs, traffic signs, traffic lights, police officer uniforms, hospital, houses, and so on. With the help of our teachers, we had the opportunity to spend a class time with preschool students and we showed them the traffic signs, traffic lights, etcetera; we also taught them about basic but important traffic regulations. We asked them some questions orally to assess their gained knowledge and later we asked them to draw something related to the lessons as another form of evaluation to reflect on what they learned from our traffic day.
We need to emphasize that cooperation among all sections of our educational complex has been the key factor in our success. We set the street theme in the gymnasium of our school and we invited many people to observe the implementation of our idea.
On our traffic day, each kindergarten student was provided with a colorful handmade car made of cardboard and accompanied by a police officer, who was a member of the project. The officer wore an Iranian Officers official uniform and explained the rules based on the signs, and then they accompanied the student as they started driving down the streets in order to help them follow the regulation.
We successfully ran a campaign which was educational and full of fun activities. The young drivers enjoyed their time while learning a lot about basic and primary traffic behaviors; as a result we took one big and important step toward a better and safer world.