Traffic Education for Children by Means of Heuristic Learning And Art Therapy

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Child traffic fatality has given rise to concerns from different kinds of professionals and bodies seeking to find an antidote to the issue. Accounting for such fatalities among children include the diminutive size of children, occluding vehicles, poor distance judgement, minimal utilisation of peripheral vision, and inattentiveness. Child traffic education has been the prescription for this case. But education has been restricted to the conventional “look left and right before crossing the road”, cautions and precautions. The nature of the child, and child road safety have attracted other expertise besides engineering, into education. Consequently new methods of teaching children traffic lessons have evolved. This study used art therapy to assimilate traffic culture into children. Seventy-one children, aged between five and ten from Ghana and the Republic of Ireland, were studied. The children were carefully observed in a one year longitudinal study. The study population wholly went through 11 therapy sessions. Individually, each child went through at least three and at most four therapy sessions, from which they produced a total of 262 drawings which formed the basis for studying the children‟s behaviour in traffic in a pre-survey and post-survey design. Theories of child development, psychology and art education were applied to the children to aid teaching and learning. It was recommended, inter alia, that road safety authorities in Ghana should shift focus from knowledge-based learning to behaviour-affecting learning in child traffic education. To easily accomplish this, teachers and parents should engage children in art, especially in the use of colours, to prepare and develop children‟s creative and cognitive perceptual abilities, to break their restriction to stereotype thinking.
Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (ART EDUCATION)