HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF STUDENT MOTIVATION, INAPPROPRIATE STATUS AND CONDITIONS FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT AT CROATIAN UNIVERSITIES?
Romana CAPUT-JOGUNICA1, Anamarija JAZBEC2,Ines JELOVČIĆ3, Sanja ĆURKOVIĆ1
1Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Croatia
2Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb, Croatia
3Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Keywords: Physical education, sport, interests and attitudes, future directions
Numerous studies confirm the concern regarding insufficient physical activity of young people, and the increasing frequency of the “couch potato society” phenomenon. Past research conducted on the Croatian student population revealed that 80% of students were not engaged in any other sports and recreational activities in their free time, apart the two regular physical education (PE) classes a week. The most frequent reasons of this situation are lack of free time and heavy study loads at higher education institutions. The fundamental tasks of this research are the following: 1. to determine the attitude towards physical education classes at the Faculty; 2. to determine students´ preferences regarding the introduction of sport as an elective course in higher study years; 3. to determine students´ opinion concerning the influence of classes on health, well-being, communication, self-confidence and study success. The research was conducted in the beginning of the 2004/05 academic year on a sample of 233 students (176 females and 57 males) of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Zagreb. A questionnaire intended to determine students´ interests, opinions and preferences regarding PE classes was applied. The following conclusions could be drawn: 1) The clear need and importance of regular physical education classes at the university; 2) A support by the students in introducing sport as an elective course in higher years of study, and the need for evaluation; 3 Students are conscious of the positive effects of physical education classes for health, satisfaction and relaxation, as well as of the influence of such tuition on improving self-confidence, communication and study success.