If this doesn’t seem like an Early Childhood issue, well, read on.
Yesterday’s Observer seems to have moved into the anti-cycling camp, even if only to give some publicity to the people who want to ban bikes from disturbing the tranquillity of driving. UKIP, for example – I know, an extreme example – have some much-publicised things to say about how “cyclists” must not be allowed to “cause unacceptable delays to traffic.” It made this morning’s bike ride a little less pleasant, although the Anthriscus Arvensis and the smell of blossom from the trees (yes, I am sorry for the Hay Fever sufferers) did much to alleviate my gloom.
But, because I was aware of how unwelcome I and other cyclists can be, what I did see were an awful lot of idiot cyclists and impatient drivers: the suited chap on his bike who went through the red lights and still only reached Oxford station at much the same time as I did; the Oxford bus driver who seemed to think his new, loud horn needed sharing with lots of people – and I have to contrast that with the cyclist who chatted with me at the traffic lights, and the bus driver who gave me a “thank you” flash of indicators when I let him pull out.
So what has this got to do with Early Years? It just made me think: what if as road users we based our thinking and behaviours on four themes similar to those underpinning the Early Years Foundation Stage? We might end up with something like this:
Every road user is a unique road user, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
Cyclists and drivers learn to be respectful of each other’s needs through positive relationships;
Road users learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between legislation, signage, reasonable use of road space and understanding of one another’s needs;
Some road users are not always immediately aware of others’ needs. Just as children develop Theory of Mind in different ways and at different rates, we all need to take responsibility for how our road use teaches others .
Ah well, just a thought…