In many ways, the future of bicycle safety lies with newly graduated health and physical education teachers. With the knowledge and commitment to teach safe walking and cycling, they will have a lasting impact on generations of children. Since 2003, the Texas SuperCollege Program has sought to train future health and physical education teachers in bicycle safety education at universities and colleges across the state. This year, the program reached its goal of recruiting, training and contracting with five new universities.
On July 8, 2006, Coalition Field Instructors, Chuck Malagodi from the City of Albuquerque bicycle education program and Professor Susan Wagner from Texas A&M University, co-taught a faculty member and two teaching assistants from Texas Tech University. This training, held in Lubbock on the Texas Tech campus, was both fun and informative. Chuck and Susan’s combined experience made for an extremely lively and informative class. Susan has taught at Texas A&M for almost 30 years while Chuck regularly leads 180 bike rodeos a year at Albuquerque elementary schools.
The Texas Tech trainees had the opportunity to learn about the Texas SuperCyclist Curriculum and the numerous games and vigorous activities that complement the bike safety lessons. Three Texas Bicycle Coalition local outreach coordinators, Sherman Phillips, Durwood Mayfield and Brenda Chuleewah also attended the training. Sherman and Durwood had already worked with Professor Nida Roncesvalles from Texas Tech during the summer, and they plan to provide continuing support to the university as it implements the curriculum in the fall semester.
A second SuperCollege training took place on July 21, 2006. Coalition Field Instructors Susan Wagner and Professor Joel Bloom, Ph.D., from the University of Houston, did an excellent job training faculty and teaching assistants from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos. The event was hosted by Huston-Tillotson at their campus in east Austin.
All the participants took part in the on-the-bike training which was held on the university’s soccer field. Doc Bloom noted that was the first time he had seen the Skills Course and Decision Making Course maneuvered on grass. The tricky terrain was challenging, but all the faculty and students gamely participated and appeared to enjoy themselves.
Both Huston-Tillotson and Texas State plan to implement the curriculum in the fall in either a methodology or curriculum class. Additionally, Texas State University’s Carolyn Cook leads an internship program that places college students in San Marcos schools. She plans to use lessons from the Texas SuperCyclist Curriculum in health and physical education classes.
Other colleges added to the program in FY2006 include The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor University. A total of 16 universities now partner with Texas Bicycle Coalition and the Texas SuperCollege Program.