An Educational Approach to Elementary School Students’ Free Time

Jasenka Martinčević


The aim of this research was to examine the relationship between sociodemographic
characteristics and elementary school students’ (grades 5 – 8) estimates of the
importance of particular secondary needs. The sample comprised 196 participants.
The starting premise was the concept of “Four wishes” for defining the situation by
W. I. Thomas (1863 – 1947). The research instrument used in this research was a
specifically designed questionnaire founded on the four wishes by Thomas: the wish
for security, wish for response, wish for recognition and wish for new experience.
The Mann-Whitney U test, factor analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, linear
regression analysis, Kruskal Wallis test and correlation analysis were applied.
The research results show statistically significant differences in the estimate of
importance of particular needs with respect to gender, i.e. participants’ age. A
correlation was established between expressing the importance of the need for
security with respect to age, and a positive correlation between recognition and
participants’ age. Furthermore, a correlation was found between age and expressing
the need for new experience among participants. The research established that
female participants have a significantly greater need for recognition.
Key words: education for free time: educational approach to free time; students’ needs

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