Development of objectives and content for a module in alcohol education and traffic safety in the elementary school grades K-6
By: Carole Lauritsen Donovan
Published: 1980
Uploaded: 10/18/2006
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Alcoholism, Study and teaching (Elementary, Traffic safety

Carole Lauritsen Donovan
Alcohol-related traffic accidents are epidemic in the United States, and teenagers are involved far beyond their numerical proportion. The need for more effective preventive measures is obvious. Based on the premise that the earlier intervention occurs the better, an alcohol education and traffic safety module for elementary grades K-6 was proposed.
A literature search served as a base for development of preliminary objectives and content, and these subsequently were evaluated by two expert juries.
The first jury, Panel A, was composed of theorists in the field of alcohol education. Their task entailed identification and clarification of objectives and was accomplished in two stages using an adaptation of the professional jury technique called the Delphi model.
In stage one, Panel A members rated general objectives for importance to the overall purpose of the module and specific objectives for relevance to general objectives, adding new objectives to improve ˘completeness.÷ In stage two, they evaluated additional general and specific objectives suggested by panel members and synthesized by the investigator.
The results of this procedure indicated a high level of agreement. Seven of the eight general objectives and 30 of the 57 specific objectives met the criteria set for retention; i.e., a mean rating of 7.00-6.00 (on a seven-position scale with 7 as extremely important or highly relevant and 1 as not important or not relevant), and each had a standard deviation of 1.10 or below. Important general objectives included knowledge of the following: (1) major sources of pressures to drink, (2) influence of alcohol on behavior, and (3) influence of alcohol on functions of the body and mind.
The 30 specific objectives identified by Panel A as relevant to important general objectives were tentatively assigned by grade level and refined to make them more appropriate for the particular age group. One of these was eliminated because teacher comments in a pilot study indicated that it was ambiguous.
The remaining 29 specific objectives and related content were subjected to evaluation by the second jury of experts, Panel B, which included 321 teachers selected from a national sample. Using the traditional model of the professional jury technique, each participant completed one evaluation.
Again, findings indicated considerable agreement. Rating 29 specific objectives on a three-point scale for difficulty, two-thirds or more of the teachers thought 22 specific objectives were appropriate at the grade level, indicating that verb substitutions would make five others suitable. All content, rated on a four-point scale, met standards set for adequacy.
Classroom teachers identified the need for specific training, audiovisual materials, and explicit instructions for presentation of the module, in order to be effective. There also was concern for negative parental and community response to the proposed program; however, it is the investigatorĂs belief that implementation of the module will provide nondrinking parents with better reasons for not using alcohol, and it might stimulate drinking parents to evaluate their present behavior. As presented, the module should guard against, rather than stimulate, precocious and/or irresponsible drinking on the part of children exposed.
Finally, there was interest in whether introduction of alcohol education related to traffic safety will produce more positive results if it occurs in kindergarten rather than in third or perhaps sixth grade. Empirical research to answer this question is severely limited to date; therefore, this kind of determination cannot be made without trial and subsequent assessment.

Sponsor: James L. Malfetti
Dissertation Committee: Elizabeth L. Hagen
Degree: Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University