When parents think about the classroom portion of driver education, they usually think back to when they took the course. This could’ve been some 20-30 years ago. They may vaguely remember a few driving pointers from an instructor that’s probably long disappeared from memory. And depending on their experience, good or bad, it all helps to determine their overall attitude about teen driver education in Texas.
We regularly get questions from parents regarding what is taught in our live virtual classroom. Over the 32 hours we cover 10 instructional modules with curriculum modeled after Texas Education Agency guidelines. Using a textbook, supplements and worksheets, transparent schematics, tests and other modes of instruction; so that the student can quickly learn, apply and retain the material. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) requires a parent to provide their teen with a proper curriculum, a lesson plan, and all required course materials. Car Teen has all of these requirements already in place. However, according to the Texas A & M Transportation Institute study, “Some parents noted that the primary or only teaching material they used was the “handbook”…and did not appear to use other materials.” In fact, when interviewed, one parent commented, “I didn’t have my sons look at any textbook. I know they looked at the handbook, because they had to pass the test”. And another one said, “In the packet of information….[The DPS] suggested an outline of things the child should do and…some of it is like they should get online and research this information on the [statistics of] accidents and then make a report….and I really don’t see that happening” (Pezoldt, Womack and Morris).
Of course some parents would prefer to have a school do the classroom portion of the program. As one parent stated, “I was quite unhappy that the school system dropped the driver education courses (2006 in Houston), because I feel like they get the book knowledge, they are forced to read, because they are forced to take tests….then they get that more riding with their parents…”. (Pezoldt, Womack and Morris)
This is where Car Teen can play a major role in educating your novice driver. In Part 3 coming up, we’ll explore the in-car portion of Texas teen driver education