Leisure education in schools: Challenges, choices and consequences

Atara SIVAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the growing advocacy for implementing leisure education in schools, its application lags behind its global expectations. Unlike the US trend of “back to basics” educational philosophy which prioritizes the learning of core subjects over leisure related subjects, countries in Asia have been changing their curricula to nurture the whole person development and thus paving the way for infusing leisure education into school systems. One example is Hong Kong which has undergone a major education reform in the last two decades. Even though scholars have suggested numerous channels and strategies for leisure education in schools, a lucid framework which takes into account the views of those for which leisure education in planned was not developed. This study is to explore the underlying dimensions of leisure education as it is manifested by teachers’ and students’ views. A Seventeen-item questionnaire has been submitted to 105 teachers and 1187 students from seven schools geographically distributed around Hong Kong. Responses were analyzed through Smallest Space Analysis (SSA). The SSA solutions among both students and teachers have yield three-dimensional solution with coefficient of alienation. 14. The solutions indicated a division to five dimensions: values and attitudes, self-development, motivation, ends and means and education among teachers and three combined dimensions among students: motivation and ends and means, self-motivation and education which includes active engagement, and values and attitudes. The identified dimensions resonate well with the suggested channels and strategies for leisure education in schools which incorporate various offerings, freedom of choice, trial and error and experiential learning. Whereas this similarity could facilitate the utilization of leisure education in schools, there is a need to consider the nature, strategy and context of such implementation. The paper addresses these challenges and draws implications for teacher training, parent education and continued advocacy for the right for leisure and its significance for whole person development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Leisure education
  • Secondary school
  • Smallest space analysis
  • Students
  • Teachers


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