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Parents' views on the children's free time in the primary first cycle

Manca Žuna (2022) Parents' views on the children's free time in the primary first cycle. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    Compared to the past, parents are today increasingly actively involved in the lives of their children. They guide their education closely, plan school clubs, extracurricular activities and often even their free time. Free time can be defined in a variety of ways; usually this is the time remaining after obligations. While some authors also include leisure activities and optional activities of the individual in their free time, others exclude them in their definitions. Free time has an important role in the development of children, especially unsupervised free time and outdoor game play. It has a positive impact on physical activity, the development of motor skills, cognitive development, the child’s sense of identity, awareness in space, independence, confidence, responsibility and autonomy. Nevertheless, we notice at work at school a decrease in time children are spending outside without the supervision of adults and a reduction of children’s independent mobility. In this manner, the views of parents on the independent outdoor play of children and their experiencing of factors, which positively or negatively influence the level of trust in the safety of children during times without supervision (traffic, home surroundings, lifestyle, contact with people, maturity, independence, desires and interests of children etc.), have a fundamental role. Independent mobility of children of the first educational period and their free outdoor play from the view of parents are the subject of the research work in this thesis. In the performed research participated 135 parents of children of the first educational period, who attend primary school in the suburbs od Ljubljana. The data was collected during the Covid-19 epidemic with an online questionnaire. We analysed the definitions of free time, the presence of adults in outside play, factors, which influence the judgement of parents about the place and quantity of time they allow children to be unsupervised, and their worries in doing so. We analysed how and why children commute to/from school and extracurricular activities. We then quantitatively and qualitatively analysed the collected data and found that parents quiet differently define the free time of children. They mostly connect it with play and less often with time spent outside. The majority of children have at least three hours of free time daily, on average, they spend 2.22 hours outside. The educational view also plays an important role in the selection of the child’s activities. An adult is often or occasionally present during the child’s outside free time and in case an adult is not present, parents are relatively little worried. We found that more frequent presence of an adult is correlated with a lower age of children and lower number of people, known to parents in the surroundings. The average age of children at which the questioned parents allow them to spend unsupervised time outside is 7.5 years. More than half of the children are allowed to be alone outside for up to an hour, the majority is spatially limited to the home street. In this manner, the most important factors for parents are the child’s familiarity with the surrounding, playing in a quiet traffic area and trust in the reactions of people in the surroundings in case of problems. The level of trust in the reactions of others is high and correlated with the number of people, known to parents in the surroundings. Most children of the questioned parents use passive means of transportation to come to school and go home. The percentage of active types of motion is the highest on leaving school. The results of the research can contribute to a better understanding of free time of children, trust and worries of parents, linked to free play or the children’s outdoor mobility without adult supervision.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: Free time, outdoor play, children, supervision, independence, children's independent mobility
    Number of Pages: 60
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Irena HerganMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/108269315
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7195
    Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 15:07
    Last Modified: 18 May 2022 15:07
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7195

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