The role of PE in providing education for leisure in the UK and KSA

Abduljawad, Abdulrahman Arif Bakr

January 2003

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© 2003 Abdulrahman Arif Bakr Abduljawad. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

In post-industrial society, most people in the West have abundant leisure. However, leisure is not always perceived or experienced as beneficial. Lack of fulfilling leisure activities may lead to psychological problems and delinquency. One way to address this problem is to promote personally and socially beneficial uses of free time through education for leisure (EfL).

The aim of this study is to explore the role of school PE in providing EfL in the UK, with the purpose of applying such experience to Saudi Arabia (KSA). The research explores how teachers view the concept of EfL, how EfL is regarded as an aim in teaching PE, how EfL is implemented in schools and factors that encourage or constrain EfL.

In the UK data were collected via a questionnaire survey of PE teachers (N=229) from 156 secondary schools in Yorkshire and Humberside, and semi-structured interviews with PE teachers (N=4) and pupils (N=18) from a selected school in the same region. In the KSA, semi-structured interviews were conducted with PE inspectors (N=4) and teachers (N=5).

UK teachers' understanding of leisure and EfL were consistent with definitions in the literature and EfL was considered an important aim in PE. It was implemented in lessons and extra-curricular activities by providing a wide range of activities, offering information about leisure facilities in society, and forming links with the community. The main focus was on the health benefits of active leisure. The amount and kind of EfL pupils received depended on their examination subject choices and teachers' personal interests. EfL was also perceived to be constrained by resources and gender issues. In the KSA, there was a confused concept of leisure and no understanding of EfL.School PE was intended to serve socialisation goals, but was not viewed in EfL terms. Based on the findings, recommendations are made for the development of EfL in the KSA.

Institute for Learning, The University of Hull
Sleap, Mike
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