Date of Award

12-21-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sue Rieg, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Allen Robinson, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the opinions and practices of driver education teachers in the state of Pennsylvania. Specifically, it addressed the following: to survey driver education teachers in the state of Pennsylvania who are certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, concerning their educational training, practices in their driver education programs, opinions toward college driver education instructor preparation courses, and opinions toward higher certification standards for driver education teacher training. The following research questions where analyzed: 1. What is the educational training of driver education teachers in the state of Pennsylvania? 2. What type of driver education practices are driver education teachers using in the state of Pennsylvania? 3. What are the driver education teachers’ opinions toward college courses in driver and traffic safety? 4. What are the driver education teachers’ opinions toward higher certification requirements in teaching driver education? The results from this study indicate that in the next 10 years over half of the driver education teachers in the state will be of retirement age and 80% of driver education teachers are male. The following statistical differences were found: 1. The age of driver educators plays a significant role in their opinions toward their driver education practices and higher certification standards for driver education teacher training. 2. The type of license held by driver educators plays a significant role in their opinions toward college driver education instructor preparation courses and higher certification standards for driver education teacher training. 3. The years as a teacher play a significant role in their opinions toward college driver education instructor preparation course and higher certification standards for driver education teacher training. 4. The years as a driver education teacher play a significant role in their opinions toward college driver education instructor preparation courses and higher certification standards for driver education teacher training. This study indicates that support from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and legislators is needed to mandate all public schools in Pennsylvania to offer driver education programs and for students to successfully complete driver education prior to graduating.

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