Using adolescent interest in swimming to accomplish utilitarian goals of education
As drowning is a serious threat to life, aquatic education is a necessity. The aim of this study was to carry out a quantitative analysis of students’ expressions of interest to participate in swimming activities compared to interests in other forms of physical activity. A total of 1328 girls and boys aged 16–18 years participated in the research. Subjects were at three different levels in nine high schools in a city in Poland. When completing a standardised questionnaire, respondents indicated and ranked five activities in which they were most interested. Relationships between interests, gender and age were analysed. Swimming evoked the most interest in adolescents, which was higher in girls than in boys and more permanent and stable throughout the monitored period. Despite the lack of swimming pools in the schools and the institutional mentoring, adolescents declared interest in swimming in almost each of the examined schools. Motives accompanying these interests are spontaneous in nature. Their skills and behaviours (safety) reveal negligence of the educational system. Adolescents’ interest in aquatic education can be used to shape attitudes towards physical culture and implement the utilitarian goals of education.
Keywords: Educational objectives; Adolescent development; Health behaviour; Swimming.