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Learning Environments at Leisure-Time Centres in Sweden: A Comprehensive Survey of Staff Perceptions

Lena Boström, Assar Hörnell, Marie Frykland

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The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse how leisure-time teachers perceive learning environments in general and especially the premises at Swedish leisure-time centres. Data are based on a national, comprehensive survey of all leisure-time teachers’ perceptions. The theoretical framework is based on research on leisure-time centres and learning environments. The methodological approach involves both a descriptive statistical analysis and a qualitative content analysis. The results show a fragmented and paradoxical picture in terms of learning environments at leisure-time centres. On the one hand, the physical environment is characterised by small rooms, in some cases outdated and not suited for the purpose, to large groups of students and, in many cases, shared premises with the school. On the other hand, a majority of the staff say that learning environments are actively used to teach children social skills, how to establish good relations, friendship and equality. Parents’ and children’s opportunities to influence these learning environments are not regarded as a high priority. The main conclusion of the study is that activities housed in the school context and on its terms face congestion and many of these physical learning environments are in need of major improvements, especially considering all the policy documents and research on good learning environments. For Nordic educational research, this is an extremely important knowledge supplement since this field lacks ample research. For activities at leisure-time centres, these results have implications for policy decisions and educational development.

Keywords: Leisure-time centres, environments, leisure-time teachers, perceptions, comprehensive survey


Bibliography: Boström, Lena/Hörnell, Assar/Frykland, Marie: Learning Environments at Leisure-Time Centres, IJREE, Vol. 3, Issue 1-2015, pp. 5–23.