chapter  8
11 Pages

Leisure and education in Ghana: an exploratory study of university students’ leisure lifestyles

ByAaron Kofi Badu Yankholmes, Shanshan Lin

This paper revisits the debate concerning the relationship between leisure and

education (see, for example, Mundy, 1998; Mundy & Odum, 1979; Ruskin, 1984;

Sivan, 1997). In the leisure education literature, much attention is focused on

evaluating the impacts of leisure education programmes, the prevalence of leisure

education, and people’s views of leisure education processes and their implementa-

tion (Sivan, 2006). In particular, the literature is replete with analysis extolling the

role of schools, colleges, and universities in promoting leisure education and

developing the leisure attitudes, values, and skills of young people (Kelly, 1996;

Mundy & Odum, 1979; Ruskin, 1984; Sivan, 2003). Yet the potential of school and

university systems to constrain the pursuit of leisure experience remains largely an

unexplored frontier, but is an exploration necessary for facilitating our under-

standing of the interrelationships between leisure and education. This paper seeks to

help fill this gap by examining the leisure lifestyles of University of Cape Coast

students and the implications of those lifestyles for leisure education. Based on a

questionnaire survey of undergraduate students conducted during the 2009/10

academic year, the paper explores the hypothesis that, as formal socialising agents

for leisure, universities can also serve to constrain the pursuit of leisure activities

given the commitments required of students in universities’ traditional roles of

teaching and research. Although the data reported in this paper are restricted to the

context of one Ghanaian university, highlighting the conceptual and practical issues

involved suggests implications for other jurisdictions across time and space.