Child development in the pre-school period is comprehensive, which means that the physical, locomotory, cognitive and social aspects are intertwined. It is, therefore, hard to measure achievements in each of these areas separately. Moreover, pre-school development varies in terms of the speed at which particular milestones in different fields are achieved. Development is characterized by growth, maturation, experience and adaptation. In its earliest stages child development can be influenced by adults, mainly by way of exposing children to relevant experiences. The importance of that lies in appropriate, sufficiently frequent and adequately intensive experiences provided at the right time, thus allowing children to develop their potential as much in line with their personal predispositions as possible, bearing in mind that any new skill or ability they had missed in the earliest stages may be hard to catch up with.
It is teachers who are responsible for relevant experience planning. Based on an analysis of a group of children entrusted to them, they plan, implement, analyze and adapt the pedagogical process, making sure that it follows the developmental milestones. A teacher can pursue such goals in different ways, i.e. he or she can implement them following different paths.
In this Master’s thesis, which includes quantitative research, we analyze the importance of material, personnel and organizational factors in the frequency, type and duration of physical activities in nature.
The studied sample includes 60 teachers from different locations in Slovenia. The variables sample constitutes a questionnaire composed of 7 parts. The individual sections are divided into: basic information, average rate of physical activities conducted in nature, teacher’s knowledge, the kindergarten area, teacher’s attitude to nature, teacher’s knowledge of the significance of a child’s physical activity in nature and management. The questionnaires were completed by teachers in April 2017.
The data gathered for this purpose were statistically processed in SPSS program. We also used subprogram Frequencies for calculation of individual answers and Descriptives for calculation of descriptive statistics. Based on the results obtained in this phase, in order to test the hypotheses, we prepared appropriate composite questionnaires, which in equivalent scope included a few components from each individual part. On the basis of different studies conducted so far as well as available literature, we constructed the following variables: material, organizational and personnel factors. The impact of the chosen factors was measured with the use of a regression analysis. In order to establish the connections between selected variables Pearson correlation coefficient was used. We accepted the hypotheses with a 5% risk rate.
The analysis of results has shown that material, personnel and organizational factors influence the implementation of organized physical activities in nature. We have also determined that teachers’ knowledge and opinions do not affect the frequency, type and duration of physical activities performed in nature.