In the course of a long career, several interesting projects stand out.
Ruth Coppard was involved in defending the use of baby-walkers for Infants. The research showed that although a number of accidents were attributed to Baby-Walkers, these included the number of times adults tripped over them and damaged themselves. In fact it seems that babies gain a great deal from being able to have a perspective on their surroundings and being able to put rooms into a context.
Ruth Coppard advised the people who put together a Road Safety strategy for younger children – based on a slogan ‘If you do that, your kids will copy you’. Fascinating to read the research about how from the age of about 5, most children are aware of the dangers on and next-to roads. They can be taught, will understand and learn. But they are unable to prioritise that sort of thinking until much later. However well-taught, a ten year old may still run into the road, prioritise a friend over the road, act impetuously.
When the Oxford Reading Tree series was extended, she has consulted on how they could be used for early and pre-reading.