Teachers can freely download the resource, which lets students analyse substance impaired driving as a New Zealand health issue.
A surprising health issue affects many New Zealanders every time they get behind the wheel, and it relates is the prescription medicines they take.
Now NCEA Level 3 students can analyse what is known as substance impaired driving (SID). SID refers to how some prescription medications have side effects which can affect the ability of people to drive safely.
The curriculum resource is published by the NZ Transport Agency on its Education Portal. It is free for teachers to download.
Included are in-depth data sources and a progression of learning activities. The resource supports assessment of Achievement Standard 91461: Analyse a New Zealand health issue.
The unit was written and trialled by Health teacher Haley Charles from Upper Hutt College.
“At that level, Health is a lot about societal health issues, supporting students to think about the main causes and come up with strategies for harm minimisation,” says Haley.
Last year, Haley trialled the unit with her own students and the published version is based on what worked best for them, while providing teachers with options to choose from.
For Haley’s students, investigating substance impaired driving was an eye opener.
“Prior to starting this unit, they had no idea this issue even existed. They were shocked. I’ve got a couple of students who work in pharmacies, so they became much more aware."
Haley says those students were asking their employers questions and making sure they had the relevant pamphlets.
“My students are talking to their family and talking to their friends about the issue too; they are getting that word of mouth out there.”
The Substance Impaired Driving curriculum resource is designed to cover 20-24 hours of lesson time over 5 to 6 weeks. It is divided into sections:
“Have a good look through and pick and choose which parts are going to meet the needs of your learners. You certainly don’t need to do the whole thing. It’s not prescriptive – everyone’s teaching style is different and every student learns differently.”
Each section has a lesson plan and a set of resources. These include data sheets, online videos and PowerPoint presentations about the issue.
“The data and videos are really useful to back up what you’re trying to teach. A lot of students need to see information presented that way to make it real for them. So here’s what the experts are saying – it’s not just ideas coming from me, the teacher.”
Some student activities are based on SOLO Taxonomy to promote deeper thinking.
“We are trying to get them to do more critical thinking rather than surface thinking, so using SOLO Taxonomy was brilliant for my students. I’d recommend taking a little time getting your head around the basics of SOLO Taxonomy before diving in.”
Finally, Haley says the curriculum resource itself is part of an strategy by the Transport Agency to work with health professionals to reduce the risks around substance impaired driving. She says connecting with this real-world context was an exciting opportunity and she hopes the same is true for more teachers in 2019 as they make use of her resource.