Influence Of Urbanisation In Students Attitudes Regarding The Role Of Education In Developingg The Concept Of Volunteerism

Por: Apostolos Theodorou, Athanasios Tsumas e Pantelis Konstantinakos.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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It is generally accepted that education is strongly related [1] with the structures, functions and necessities of the society.
The purpose of the current study was to investigate the influence of education in developing the concept of Olympic
volunteerism in different geographical areas of Greece according to the degree of urbanisation (urban, semi-urban,

The sample (N = 440) was comprised of 4th grade high school students (mean age approximately 15 years) who have
attended the educational programme of Olympic education for 3 continuous years since 1st grade. The sample was
randomly selected from geographical areas of Greece meeting the urbanisation criteria of an urban, semi-urban and
rural society. Data were collected by a questionnaire comprised of 12 closed ended questions looking into student’s
attitudes on the following concepts: a) teaching staff and educational curriculum content, b) stimuli and initiatives
within school environment and c) Olympic games and Olympic volunteerism.

The study has shown that students felt that the teaching staff as well as the content of the educational curriculum did not
promote the concept and values of Olympic volunteerism. However, students coming from semi-urban and rural areas
demonstrated a significantly higher appreciation of this role compared to urban students (Table 1, question 1).
Additionally, although the school environment did not encourage participation in activities and programmes associated
with volunteerism (Table 1, question 2) the students demonstrated a high determination to be involved in activities of
volunteerism especially those associated with the 2004 Olympic games with students coming from semi-urban and rural
areas wishing to be involved at a significantly higher rate as opposed to urban students (Table 1, question 3).

Discussion/ Conclusions
The findings of this study demonstrate that students in general have a negative attitude towards the influence of school
environment in developing the concept of volunteerism as well as encouraging participation in relevant activities.
Additionally, the area of residency has been found to play a catalytic role in the determination of students to participate
as volunteers in the 2004 Olympic Games, with the students who are residents of the host city being unwilling to
participate as opposed to semi-urban or rural area students. These findings are in agreement with those supporting that
the place of residence plays a significant role in the development of social beliefs and attitudes irrespective of the
official educational policy [2, 3].

[1]. Polihroniou H. (2001). The concept of volunteerism: A critical approach. Thesis, 77, pp 53-65
[2]. Panagiotopulu (2000). The notion of volunteerism in the Modern Greek Society and the challenge of the Olympic
Game. M. de Moragas, A. Belen Moeno, N. Ruig (eds.), Volunteers, Global Society and the Olympic Movement.
International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, pp 81-90.
[3]. Bobbio N. (1998). The society of the citizens. Society of Citiens, Vol. 1, pp 57-70.

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