An Analysis of the Alcohol Curriculum Used in the Driver Education Program of the Fairfax Alcohol Safety Action Project

Report No: 75-R2

Published in 1974

About the report:

In this study, ten classes of driver education students from two Fairfax County high schools received materials from a new alcohol curriculum in conjunction with regular driver education training. Eight classes of students from two other Fairfax County high schools did not receive the new curriculum but rather traditional alcohol instruction in the same context. These students were tested on their alcohol knowledge at the beginning and end of the course. While pretest scores did not differ significantly between the two groups, students who received the new alcohol materials scored significantly higher on the posttest than did students receiving traditional instruction. It was discovered, however, that most of the differences between the two groups occurred in classes taught by one particular teacher. It is possible that the quality of instruction in each class and the students' reaction to each teacher's personality could have influenced test results. From these data, it was concluded that teacher effectiveness, as well as program effectiveness, influences students' knowledge of the effects of alcohol. Two other groups of driver education students were tested, and their scores compared with those of the Fairfax experimental and control groups. Nineteen classes from one Charlottesville/Albemarle high school received traditional alcohol and driver education instruction similar to that received by the Fairfax control group. Six classes of driver education students from another Charlottesville/Albemarle high school received instruction from a programmed text which involved little teacher influence. Pretests for these groups did not differ significantly from those of their Fairfax counterparts. Posttests scores for these groups were significantly lower than those for both the experimental and control groups in Fairfax. It was concluded that some factor affecting students living in the Fairfax area enabled these students to increase their test scores significantly more than did students not living in Fairfax. It was postulated that this facet was the influence of the Fairfax ASAP.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Cheryl W. Lynn

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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