ERIC Number: ED520853
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
Assessing the Need for Curriculum or Delivery Revisions to the D.A.R.E.[R] K-4 Visitation Lessons: A Qualitative Inquiry
Witte, Jeffrey H.
Over the last several decades, research has questioned the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E.[c] (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. D.A.R.E.[c] has also experienced cuts based on budget restrictions and personnel reallocations within police agencies, as well as competing demands for classroom time. Although concerted efforts have been made to revise the elementary core, middle school, and high school D.A.R.E.[c] curricula, the visitation lessons for grades K-4 have not undergone a major update since at least 1996. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes, beliefs, and feelings of K-4 teachers toward classroom-based safety and resistance skills programs (including D.A.R.E.[c]), focusing on the need for revisions to the curriculum content and/or delivery methods. The qualitative research was conducted within the eight highly-diverse elementary schools of the Princeton City School District in Hamilton County, Ohio. Forty respondents (34.8% of the 115 K-4 classroom teachers) completed voluntary surveys, and four teachers (representing different grade levels and buildings) participated in one-on-one follow-up interviews. Respondents tended to rate their students as being at more-than-average risk to engage in substance abuse or other risky or dangerous behaviors, and they showed strong interest in (and support for) D.A.R.E.[c] visitation lessons in their K-4 classrooms, especially since they are presented by a uniformed police officer. None of the respondents was able to name another safety and resistance skills program, other than D.A.R.E.[c], that they would rather have in their classroom. Respondents did not endorse any major changes to the topics covered by the K-4 D.A.R.E.[c] lessons, but they did prefer some flexibility in the program to focus on contemporary issues faced by each school's individual population. Suggested changes in presentation style centered around embracing new classroom technologies (primarily "smart boards"), along with the increased use of hands-on activities, including role-playing, and reinforcing methods, such as reflective writing and literature connections. The study recommends that these considerations be included in revisions or updates to the D.A.R.E.[c] grades K-4 visitation lessons, preferably in the near future. The following are appended: (1) Written permission for research project; (2) K-4 teacher survey (with instructions); and (3) Follow-up interview questions (with instructions).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio