Frímínútur í tveimur grunnskólum: Fyrirkomulag og sjónarmið starfsfólks sem sinnir gæslu nemenda

Kristín Þóra Möller, Hermína Gunnþórsdóttir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Markmið rannsóknarinnar var að kanna hvernig frímínútum er háttað í tveimur grunnskólum, hversu mikilvæg agastefna skólanna virðist vera fyrir starfsfólk skólanna í daglegum störfum og að rýna í samspil frímínútna og skólabrags skólanna. Rannsóknin fór fram í tveimur grunnskólum í einu íslensku sveitarfélagi vorið 2014. Eigindlegar rannsóknaraðferðir voru notaðar til þess að rannsaka viðhorf starfsfólks skólanna með viðtölum. Viðmælendur voru fjórir, tveir í hvorum skóla. Einnig voru vettvangsathuganir gerðar í báðum skólum í frímínútum og ýmis gögn um skólana greind, meðal annars niðurstöður skólanna í könnunum á vegum Skólapúlsins. Niðurstöður sýna að viðmælendur eru ósáttir við það hve starfslýsingar þeirra eru víðtækar og að lítil sem engin formleg starfsþjálfun er í boði. Markviss agastefna virðist nýtast starfsfólki vel sem verkfæri, umfram almennar skólareglur, og allt bendir til þess að flestum nemendum líði vel í frímínútum. Töluvert ber þó á aðgerðaleysi og agavandamálum í frímínútum skólanna tveggja, að mati viðmælenda. Með skipulegum leikjum og valkvæmum frímínútum væri hægt að koma í veg fyrir aðgerðaleysi, agavandamál og einelti.
This article deals with recess periods in Icelandic compulsory schools. In Iceland there has been but little coverage of recess as part of overall school activity and the role of staff who supervise students during recess periods. The topic of recess is almost non-existent, whether we look in legislation, regulations or in the Icelandic National Curriculum Guide for Primary School. There is, however, a strong emphasis on a positive school atmosphere and a pleasant working environment in the primary schools. Students’ recess during school hours can significantly affect the atmosphere in the school. Recess periods make up a considerable section of the students’ school day and it is important, therefore, that they should feel comfortable during this free time. The students’ environment as a whole matters; what happens outside the classroom affects what takes place in class and students who generally feel at ease will learn better. Although research into the well-being of students in Icelandic primary schools indicates that most of them are comfortable in school, there is, nevertheless, a certain number of students who are subject to teasing and even bullying. In this context, recess periods are most likely to be identified as settings of insecurity and discomfort. The aim of the research was to investigate the arrangement of recess in two primary schools, how important the schools’ disciplinary policies are to school staff during their working hours and explore the interplay between recess and the school atmosphere. The research was conducted in two primary schools in one Icelandic municipality in spring 2014. Qualitative research methods were used to examine staff attitudes in the schools by means of interviews. In-field observations were also carried out in both schools during recess periods and various kinds of documentation on the schools were analysed; for example their results in studies undertaken by the School Pulse. There were four interviewees, two staff members in each school. The results are analysed on the basis of five main themes revealed by the data analysis; Work descriptions and professional training, the organisation of recess periods, disciplinary policies, school atmosphere and wellbeing, communication and cooperation. Supervision of students during recess in the municipality under investigation is first and foremost the responsibility of untrained staff. All the participants in the research have little or no post-primary education and only one out of four had completed a specific course designed for staff in a supportive role. The municipality’s official description of the jobs in question is vague and incomplete. According to participants, the recess periods are a success when everyone is attending the shift. As soon as staff members are missing, troubles arise, however, since reserve staff are seldom on offer. In both schools it is administrators who plan staff supervision during recess and lunch hour; in both schools staff have little say in this planning. The results indicate that a targeted discipline policy is a useful tool to staff in their work and there is every indication that most students are comfortable during recess periods. Nevertheless, it is the assessment of interviewees that inaction and discipline problems are significant features of recess in both schools. Participants in both schools agree that breaks between lessons are necessary for students and for the school atmosphere since they provide students with a much needed outlet and rest from concentrated schoolwork. This is most clearly noticed when students cannot go outside due to bad weather. Participants in both schools state that their relationships with administrators and teachers are generally satisfactory; problems that arise are properly dealt with and in most cases everyone is eager to assist them in their work. Participants in school A, however, are significantly more negative towards administrators and teachers than those in school B. They say they often experience lack of respect from teachers and they feel that teachers fail to show an understanding of their situation. The research is limited to two schools and consequently yields an imperfect picture of the situation. Each school and each member of staff is unique, so it is not possible to generalise on the basis of those results, although they provide an insight into aspects of school activities which have only received limited coverage so far; that is, recess periods and primary school staff who have not received professional training.
Original languageIcelandic
Pages (from-to)1-18
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017

Other keywords

  • Skólastarf
  • Grunnskólar
  • Education
  • Elementary school

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