EVALUATION OF A NATIONAL SCHOOL DRUG EDUCATION PROGRAM IN AUSTRALIA
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This article published as:
Midford, R. & McBride, N. (1999) Evaluation of a national school drug education program in Australia. The International Journal of Drug Policy, 10,3: 177-193
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
The National Initiatives in Drug Education (NIDE) project was an initiative of the Australian Commonwealth government, to enhance school drug education in all Australian jurisdictions. The project was implemented in collaboration with States and Territories and primarily involved professional training for teachers of drug education and the development of teaching resources. The project was evaluated towards the end of its implementation period. An essentially descriptive approach was adopted, using several different investigative techniques to confirm the strength of evidence and build a global picture. While there are inherent limitations to such a retrospective approach, considerable insight was gained as to the achievements of the project. In an overall sense, people in all jurisdictions, at all levels of involvement in drug education, considered NIDE a beneficial project. NIDE increased the quantity and quality of drug education. The teaching resource materials developed by NIDE were generally well regarded. The process of implementation was respectful and empowering. State and Territory representatives felt part of a coherent national project. The harm minimisation premise of the project was well accepted. NIDE also had a number of limitations, but it has contributed in a major way to the ongoing evolution of school drug education in Australia.
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