Elementary Education in Northern Taiwan

Introduction

Under the chapter of this research, the profile of the study shall be explored, with the intention of shedding light on what the chapter entails. This will then pave way for an exploration of the research findings, followed by a discussion of the same, and ultimately, allow for a provision of the recommendations for future research studies on the same area of study.

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Profile of the study

The purpose of this study was to help shed light on the association between leisure participation, leisure satisfaction, and emotional intelligence, and how these three parameters impact elementary school teachers in Yilan County, Taipei County, Taoyuan County, and Hsinchu County. Accordingly, the study examined the relationship among leisure involvement (Outdoor Activities, sports, Hobbies, and Indoor Activities, cultural activities and entertainment, Home-Centered and Social Activities, as well as civic activities), leisure satisfaction, and emotional intelligence amongst elementary teachers in Northern Taiwan. It was the intention of the study to realize research findings that would inform school administrators within the jurisdiction of its application with information on the need to institute changes in their curricula that positively accord leisure activities to the elementary school teachers in selected counties in Northern Taiwan.

The research team for this study consisted of the principal researcher assisted by two research assistants, who were graduate students. The identified sample population had the research questionnaires administered to them in Chinese. On average, each participant took 15-20 minutes to fill in the details of the research study questionnaire. Before the conduction of the actual research study, consent was first sought from the relevant authorities. During the entire period of data collection, the research team assured the participants’ confidentiality by assuming coded names for the research questionnaires, so that instead of having the names of the respondents appearing on their individual questionnaires, the coded name of the research team member administering it appeared. As such, the privacy and confidentially of the study participants were assured.

The data were collected by using a survey of the public elementary school teacher in Yilan County, Taipei County, Taoyuan County, and Hsinchu County by personal contact, phone, and e-mail were used in data collection. Demographic Survey for the respondents was also carried out, the intention being to examine whether the demographic factors that characterized the study respondents influenced in any way the findings of the research study. The demographic information that was collected from the respondents included gender, age, marital status, educational level, number of years of service in school, number of hours of leisure time each week, and number of children, and religious affiliation.

In terms of instrumentation, a Leisure Participation Scale, as developed by Ragheb and Griffith in 1982, was used to examine the behavior of the respondents to this study as far as leisure activities are concerned. In this case, the Leisure Participation Involvement (LPI) utilized a five-point scale interval to determine the participation level in the different kinds of leisure activities that have been included on the scale. The five-point scale is such that a score of a 1 refers to seldom participation in leisure, possibly a couple of times per year, 2 as occasionally which presented about once a month, 3 as frequently which presented couple times per month, 4 as very often which presented every week, 5 as daily.

On the other hand, the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS), as developed by Lin (2001c), was used in assess the emotional intelligence of the respondents. The instrument is based on a five-point Likert scale, that ranges from a score of five to one, with a corresponding remark of almost always true, often true, sometimes true, seldom true, and 1 almost never true, corresponding to each of the five scores respectively. With regard to Leisure Participation Involvement (LPI) this registered a Cronbach’s Alpha of.782.

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For Leisure Satisfaction Scale (LSS), the value registered was a Cronbach’s Alpha of.905; and for Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS) registered a Cronbach’s Alpha of.807. As can be seen, the different reliabilities have exceeded the.70 reliability coefficients, in effect implying that the results obtained by this study were highly reliable. All the reliability coefficients exceed.70. Therefore, the results were regard as reliable. This is in line with the suggestion offered Lehman (2005), who argues that a reliability coefficient of 0.70 is quite acceptable. The fact that the reliability coefficient did not exceed 0.90 is an indication of the fact that the scale length that the study adopted was not inordinate, or redundant. Moreover, all the reliability coefficients for the parameters that were being investigated were between 0.70 and 0.90, and this is well within the mark of an ideal estimate of internal consistency, which Lehman (2005) opines to be between 0.80 and 0.90.

Once data were collected, data for the study were analyzed using various statistical packages namely Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate frequencies and percentages needed to answer the research objectives. Descriptive analysis included 8 variables, gender, age, marital status, educational level, number of years of service in school, number of hours of leisure time each week, number of children, and religious affiliation. A number of statistical methods of data analysis were employed by this study. Cronbach‘s alpha coefficients were used to test the degree of reliability in the pilot study. Cronbach‘s alpha coefficients’ levels of.7 or more were considered representative of strong reliability (Allen & Yen, 2002, p. 23)

A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the difference in leisure participation, leisure satisfaction, and emotional intelligence among demographic variables (gender, age, marital status, educational level, number of years of service in school, number of hours of leisure each week, number of children, and religious affiliation).Canonical correlation was used to test the relationship among leisure participation, leisure satisfaction, and emotional intelligence. Multivariate test was used to analyze the differences in variables of Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Multivariate Emotional Intelligence Scale, based on the influence of leisure participation.

Univariate test was used to analyze the difference in variables of LSS is based on the influence of leisure participation. It was also used to analyze the difference in variables of MEIS is based on the influence of leisure participation. Regression analysis was used to predict the outcome of MEIS (dependent variable) based on LPI and LSS (independent variable). The findings of this research study were in line with those that other similar research studies have reported, in addition to the fact that the study also unearthed significant research findings for the particular study group in question.

Findings

The research findings this study was presented in the order in which they appeared in the questionnaire, and according to the format presented below:

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Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS between male and female?

  • Using 0.05 as the significance level, the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale exhibited a significant difference, with regard to gender. In this case, females had higher scores of Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale than male. Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Leisure Participation involvement did not have significant differences.

Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among age?

  • At the 0.05 level of significance, the variables home activities and LPI had significant difference, but the rest of the variables failed to yield significant difference.

Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among marital status?

  • Married people had higher scores of LPI at the 0.05 level of significance, compared with the single people. In contrast, The LSS and MEIS failed to yield significant differences.

Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among educational levels?

  • At the 0.05 level of significance, the data of Leisure Participation Involvement, Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale do not have significant differences, meaning that the level of education was not affected in a significant way by these variables.

Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among years of service in school?

  • The data of Leisure Participation Involvement yielded significant differences, at the 0.05 level of significance. Further, the Leisure Participation Involvement scores were seen to increase with an increase in the number of years of service by the elementary teachers. On the other hand, the variables Leisure Satisfaction Scale, Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale failed to yield significant differences, at the 0.05 level of significance.

Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among numbers of children?

  • The variables Leisure Participation Involvement and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale were found to have significant differences, at the0.05 level of significance. Accordingly, those respondents with 4 or more children were seen to have the highest MEIS and LPI scores.

Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among religious affiliation?

  • At the 0.05 level of significance, the LPI, LSS and MEIS variables failed to yield significant differences; in effect implying that religious does not have a significance influence on Leisure Participation Involvement, Leisure Satisfaction Scale, and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale.

Does LPI have a significant influence on LSS and MEIS?

  • Overall, the frequent of participation to outdoor activities, sports and cultural activities have significant influence on Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale, at the 0.05 level of significance.

Does LPI have a significant influence on LSS?

  • At the 0.05 level of significance, the frequent of participation to indoor activities, outdoor and cultural activities have significant influence on LSS. Overall, the leisure participation was seen to have an effect on the leisure satisfaction scale.

Does LPI have a significant influence on MEIS?

  • Overall, the variable leisure participation was found to have an impact on the multifactor emotional intelligence scale.

Is there a correlation between leisure participation and leisure satisfaction?

  • Leisure Participation Involvement, outdoor activities, indoor activities, cultural activities, and Leisure Satisfaction Scale were reported to have a positive correlation coefficient, at the 0.05 level of significance.

Is there a correlation between leisure participation and multifactor emotional intelligence?

  • Leisure Participation Involvement, outdoor activities, sports, indoor activities, cultural activities, and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale reportedly had a positive correlation coefficient, at the 0.05 level of significance.

Is there a significant interaction among leisure participation, leisure satisfaction and emotional intelligence?

  • While exploring the influence on Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale by Leisure Participation Involvement, the study noted bicycling, Yuananji dance, Swimming, Calligraphy, Reading, Watching TV, and Listening to the radio as the variables of LPI that had a significant impact on the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale.
  • Leisure participation was therefore found to affect the emotional intelligence, in which case an increase in leisure activities would lead to a correspondingly increase in emotional intelligence.
  • With respect to the influence on Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale by Leisure Satisfaction Scale, leisure satisfaction was found to affect the emotional intelligence. Accordingly, leisure satisfaction has a certain interpretation on the multifactor emotional intelligence of the role.
  • On the issue of the influence on M Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale by, leisure involvement and leisure satisfaction, the research findings revealed that leisure participation and leisure satisfaction have certain explanation on the performance of emotional intelligence.

Discussion

The research findings suggest that a majority of the participants that took part in this study were between the age of 30 and 40 years. This could perhaps explain the fact that a majority of them (39.8 percent) had no children, while a further 16.5 percent only had a single child. The implication then is that the participants to this study were relatively young. From such a perspective, this may explain the Leisure Participation Involvement of these respondents. For example, an increasingly higher number of participants reported that they took part in such sports activities as jogging, swimming, and table tennis. These are vigorous and strenuous sports and more so for individual that are advanced in terms of age.

The diverse activities of leisure that elementary school teachers engage in is a necessity, given that these teachers usually have little time to relax after having to attend to the demanding needs of their pupils. Furthermore, it is important to put in mind the fact that the education levels in Northern Taiwan is on the increase, and this could explain the desire by the teachers to become more involved in leisure activities. Furthermore, Wendy (1993) has noted that the utilization of free time in the form of leisure has become more of a norm amongst the members of post-industrial societies. The case is no different in the case of Taiwan, which is why we witness an increasingly higher number of elementary teachers engaging in one form of leisure activity to the other.

The explanation behind this is that in Taiwan the societies have been impacted by western culture, in the process undergoing a major transition during the twentieth century; from agricultural-dependent society to one now dependent on industrialization. Consequently, the positive developments in the economy of Taiwan and the quality of life among Taiwanese people have immensely improved, and this has resulted in a corresponding increase in the number of Taiwanese taking part in diverse leisure activities. The elementary teachers are no different.

A research that was carried out in 2004 by Hsieh, Spaulding and Riney indicated that most people usually lack sufficient time to engage in leisure activities. This could be as a result of barriers related to school, family, or social organizations. Accordingly, Franklin opines that a majority of the individuals that his study targeted on average spent three hours in a day in various forms of leisure activities, mainly watching of television. This then translates to about 21 hours of leisure in a week, and this corresponds with the findings of this particular study.

According to Van der Meer (2008), leisure participation is usually impeded by children that an individual has. In the case of elementary school teachers for example, most of their time is spent at work, in school, taking care of the needs of the pupils. This then leaves less time for them to adequately cater for the needs of their children once they get home. Most of the time, the teachers will often be exhausted after a day’s work. Therefore, the only free time that they could have is over the weekends. Incidentally, this is also the time that such teachers may best engage in leisure activities. Accordingly, it means that their leisure time is dividend between having to take care of their children and attending to their leisure activities. This is a balancing act that may prove quite an uphill task to achieve. Further, Van der Meer (2008) has noted that the effects that children have on the leisure program of an individual will normally vary from women and men.

According to the research findings, it emerged that a lot of the respondents interviewed reported that they participated more in jogging and walking as a leisure activity, more than any other leisure activity that was contained in the questionnaire administered to them. This could be a pointer to the social class hat the elementary school teachers in this study are in. Gradients in social class from the point of view of such leisure activities as walking have been well documented by Van der Meer (2008).

In this case, the author has opined that the choice of an activity as a form of leisure shall to some extent be determined by the social class that an individual is in.

32.9 percent of the respondents to the study reported that they spent between 11 and 15 hours of leisure each week. In addition, a further 15.1 percent of he respondents reported that they spend between 16 and 20 hours. Only 4.8 percent of the study respondents just spent more than 21 hours of leisure each week. Dedicating almost a whole day to leisure activities might seem like a lot of time to the average individual. However, there is a need to put in mind the fact that for the elementary school teachers, part of the time that they spend on school work could also be regarded as a from of leisure for them. For example, physical education teachers may wish to include time that they spend undertaking their subjects as leisure time as well. In this regard, the research findings of the study bear a slight correlation with the results of a General Household Survey that was carried out in 2002, in the United Kingdom. The participants in this particular study were adults, and they were assessed on their involvement in diverse leisure activities, as had been selected by the researchers. Accordingly, watching television was ranked as the leisure activity that was most popular for this particular study group.

This observation is in agreements with the research findings for this study, in which watching of television emerged as the most popular for the cultural activities and entertainment. This was closely followed at 88 percent by participants who responded that during their leisure time, radio listening was their preferred hobby. It is important to put in mind that the rates of participation as reported by the study have been seen to be quite constant for over 13 years now, since 1996. With respect to those adults that respondents that they took part in arts during their leisure activities, 11 percent of them said that they either played a certain musical instrument, or sang. A similar number of participants responded that dancing was their preferred form of art that they wished to take part in. on the other hand only a handful of the participants had written plays, stories or poetry, at 4 percent. That rates of participation in leisure activity differed on the basis of both sex and gender, in line with the research findings of this survey.

The data for leisure participation involvement is grouped by the six major types of leisure participation categories examined by the LPI which are: outdoor activities, sports, hobbies and indoor activities, cultural activities and entertainment, home centered and social activities, and civic activities. A low score on the LPI that approaches the number 1 (n+1) indicates that the respondents seldom engaged in the activity very frequently. For the LPI, the category of ‘other’ was omitted from the analysis because of its inability to precisely identify that nature of the activity based on the standardized format of the test instrument.

In terms of participation in outdoor activities, SPSS results showed that the highest mean is that of walking which is said to be the most preferred outdoor activity by the participants. Walking had a variance of.459. The average score of participation in Outdoor Activities is in the range from 0.3 to 3.48, mainly concentrated between 2 and 3, the standard deviation is between 0.285 and 0.543. It can be said that the participants in the survey participated occasionally or frequently participated in outdoor activities. The results also suggest that walking is the most popular form of outdoor activity among the different demographics; excursion, mountain climbing and fishing were less preferred or not frequently engaged in by the participants.

It is important to note that this study made a revelation that the more number of children that the participants had, the less time they had to engage in leisure activities. Therefore, there was an inverse relationship between on the one hand, the number of children and on the other hand, the involvement levels in terms of leisure activities. This is quite understandable, given that children are more demanding in terms of their needs. Accordingly, parents will end up sacrificing their time that they would have wished to take part in leisure activities, so that they can be with their children, in addition, the more children one has, the more likely the demands from these children and consequently, the less time that they will have to engage in leisure activities. Still on the issue of leisure involvement, this study revealed that more male than females were likely to engage in leisure activities. Furthermore, the time spent on leisure activity was seen to increase with an increase in the age of the participants.

A study that was carried out by Touchup, Chang and Shen (2009) indicates that for a group of men and woman that were employed, and whose age ranged from between 25 and 45 years, a typical day for an individual in this group would see them spending more time on work, leisure and personal activities. For those participants that were of 25 years of age, McNamara found out that 7.6 hours in a day were dedicated to leisure. This translates to 45 hours of leisure in a week, a figure that is twice as much as that reported by the respondents to the survey, in which the highest groups recorded 21 hours of leisure in a week. Such a disparity with respect to time dedication to leisure could be explained by the fact that teachers are more likely to under report the time that they take part in leisure while at school, taking it as part of their work-related activities. In terms of the differences in leisure participation between the male participants and their female colleagues, it is important to note that women are more likely to be pressed for time, when it comes to leisure activities.

A majority of the studies reveals that when compared with their male counterparts, women usually have less time that they dedicate to leisure activities. As a result of demands for child care and household demands, the leisure time for women is usually segmented into small time-frames. For example, Cushman, Veal and Zuzanek (2005) have discovered that women have a tendency to allocate their leisure time into time periods that are both unpredictable and short. Moreover, the choice of the leisure activities by women is in such a way as to enable them to be nearer to the home environment. For example, according to this study, more women elementary teachers that responded to the survey were likely to report that singing and drinking of tea was their leisure activity of choice, as compared to their male counterparts. The latter were more likely to get involved in outdoor leisure activities, such as golfing.

The research findings also reveals that the participants were more likely to take part in hobbies and outdoor activities that were somewhat connected to the nature of the work of the elementary teachers. In this case, reading, crafts and calligraphy recorded the highest means; with respect to the other hobbies and outdoor activities that the subjects were likely to take part in. The explanation for this could be that these are the hobbies and activities that the teachers have a passion for. In addition, one could also postulate that owing to the nature of their profession, teachers are more likely to read more, when compared with the other professionals. In addition, by taking part in craft subjects, teachers could end up getting drawn to hobbies that are connected with craft, such as calligraphy.

Perhaps one of the questions that we ought to ponder on at this point is, why the elementary teachers that were interviewed by this study showed an inclination for particular leisure activities and not other. Whereas the passion that they could be harboring on these leisure activities could have played a significant role in informing their choice ion the same, nevertheless it may be necessary to support such a claim with sound research findings. In what may be seen as a multi-dimensional classification, Bukov, Maas & Lampart, (2002) contend that leisure participation differences have more to do with the notions of accumulation and selection. When participants are making a choice of those activities that they would want to take art in, there is the possibility for such participants to emphasize more on activities that from their own points of view, they participants perceives to be satisfying and interesting, which is why they take joy in engaging in them.

In addition, there is also the element of accumulation, in which an individual take up a lot of interests in those activities that they get involved in on a daily basis, to the extent that it may end up turning into a routine. Depending on the level of satisfaction that such individuals may get from these activities, there is a chance that these activities could become their hobbies. From such a perspective then, it may be argued that because teachers are more likely to become avid readers, given the nature of their job, it is not a wonder therefore that a higher number of the respondents to this study reported reading as their most preferred cultural activity and entertainment. Bukov, Maas and Lampert (2002) have noted that knowledge, social skills and competencies are examples of resources that if they are accumulated for a number of years, could end up influencing recreation and leisure activities to a great deal. Accordingly, craft, calligraphy, painting and art work have been ranked as cultural activities with the most number of respondents, after reading.

The descriptive statistics results on sports shows that the study’s participants were more likely to take part in jogging, as opposed to other forms of sport activities, such as golfing. According to Bukov and colleagues (2002), there is a connection between social class on the one hand, and the choice of physical activity by an individual, on the other hand. From such a perspective, it could then be argued here that an increasingly high number of teachers found jogging to be appealing to their social class. Furthermore, Cushman, Veal and Zuzanek (2005) contend that an association exists between reduced socioeconomic status on the one hand, and the level of income, on the other hand. These parameters, according to the authors, have an impact on the choice of sports activities that individuals may engage in, as forms of leisure. Furthermore, social capital is also seen as a significant factor in terms of the choice of leisure activity that an individual makes (Bukov et al, 2002).

Is there a correlation between leisure participation and multifactor emotional intelligence?

From the research findings of this particular study, the Pearson Correlation for Leisure Participation Involvement (LPI) indicated a positive correlation coefficient between on the one hand, LPI and on the other hand, Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS). The two variables posted a significant correlation of over 0.1, at the 0.05 level of significance. The implication then is that cultural activities, indoor activities, sports and outdoor activities are an index of a strong connection between the two dependent variables; Leisure Participation Involvement, and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence. The range of the leisure satisfaction scale mean score was between 1.89 and 3.98. In addition, the degree of satisfaction that the respondents scored ranged from seldom true to sometime true to often true. From these results, it may be argued that.

On the other hand, the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS) provided a mean score of between 1.82 and 3.78, with standard deviation from 0.56 to 0.89. The strong correlation that this study exhibited between these aforementioned parameters is a useful discovery. With respect to emotional intelligent, there is a need to put in mind the fact that mental development is an important facet for every one of us. The activities of leisure are usually seen as a break away from the daily hustles of the working life of professionals, such as the elementary school teachers. Accordingly, they are in a better position to regain lost energy while teaching, minimize on the potential causes of depression, and while at the same time also maintain a balance between mental as well as physical development.

Gender (Male & Female). Is there a significance difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS between male and female?

An important discovery fro this study is that female were seen to record a higher MEIS score, when compared to the male respondents. On the other hand, the Leisure Participation Involvement (LPI) and the Leisure Satisfaction Scale (LSS) did not differ significantly between the male and female respondents that the study interviewed. in as much as the results that this research study reveals as regard the levels of emotional intelligence across the gender divide may not wholly be regarded as being conclusive, nevertheless it is important to appreciate the fact that these results in themselves are indicative of an inclination towards the females. The results by this study concur with those of other scholars (for example, Rodriguez, Latkova & Sun, 2007). It was the discovery of the authors identified above compared that to their male counterparts, females that were surveyed by these various studies exhibited higher levels of emotional intelligence.

On the other hand, Murphy (2006) has tended to differ with the findings of these studies, by reporting males with higher levels of emotional intelligence, when compared with females. A possible fundamental explanation as to why females in the study exhibited higher levels of emotional intelligence when compared with their male counterparts has to do with the expressions and the management of an individual’s emotions, not to mention one’s social skills. Given that females are by nature intimate and emotional in as far as relationships are concerned, relates to their male peers, we could therefore argue that by extensions, their emotional intelligence could also be expected to be superior to that of the males. An explanation to such a difference could be owing to the variation in terms of socialization across the gender divide, from the pit of view of the society. A number of studies have since argued in support of this claim (for example, Singh, 2002; Torkildsen, 2005; Van der Meer, 2008). Furthermore, cases of elevated emotional intelligence with respect to the females may also be explored with respect to the personality traits of the female gender. Dunn (2002) has reported related findings. This author discovered that the score of girls with regard to such elements of emotions as social responsibilities, empathy, as well as interpersonal relationships, usually exceed the score obtained from boys. As such, girls tend to enjoy sensitive relationships not just with their siblings, but also with their parents and friends. Going by these superior characteristics that girls exhibit when compared with boys, it may then be argued that they are best placed to obtained additional emotional intelligence relative to their male counterparts.

Difference in Leisure Participation Involvement (LPI), Leisure Satisfaction Scale (LSS), and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS)

There was observed a variable difference between LPI at the 0.05 level of significance. In this case, the married people were found to have registered higher LPI scores in comparison with their non-married counterparts. The findings by this research study on the leisure satisfaction score for the respondents concur with that reported by other research studies that have dwelt on the issue of leisure. For example, in 1987,

Russell undertook a research study whose focus was to evaluate how the life satisfaction of the respondents was influenced by leisure satisfaction. The author arrived at a conclusion that leisure satisfaction had an impact on the satisfaction with life experiences of the study respondents, as opposed to the amount of involvements or frequency. This is an important observation because it indicates that as long as an individual enjoys what they are doing during their leisure time, then they are more likely to be satisfied with their general life. In the case of teachers, the issue of leisure satisfaction cannot be overlooked, since there is a need to ensure that they are relaxed after having to work hard to take care of children.

A second and related study that Russell undertook in 1990 assessed the correlation between on the one hand, leisure, and on the other hand other variables of circumstances in life like gender, religion, marital status, education, as well as age, along with the impact that these had on the respondents’ quality of life. In this case, it is important to note that leisure satisfaction was found to be the one important quality of life predictors by the study. Recent studies have sought to concur with the findings of Russell, both in 1987 and later, in 1990. This is from the point of view of the respondent’s leisure perspective.

The study did not realize a significant difference in LPI, LSS and MEIS among educational levels. At the 0.05 level of significance, the data of LPI, LSS and MEIS do not have significant differences, meaning that the level of education was not affected in a significant way by these variables. These results are in a sharp contrast with the observations that were made by Iwasaki and & Havitz (2004), who contend that disparities in terms of leisure activities could have an effect not just on the economic activities of individuals, but also their choice of ‘health-promotion behaviors’’, like participation in leisure activities.

Separately, Huang and Carleton (2003) have noted that the level to which adolescents may take part in leisure activities is usually dictated by the level of education that they have attained. Accordingly, as the education levels of an individual increases, so does their levels of participation in various leisure activities. This is especially the case with respect to the older members of the society. In this case, the lack of a significant difference with respect to the Leisure Participation Involvement, Leisure Satisfaction Scale and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale variables, as indicated by this research study, could be attributed to the fact that slightly more than to third of the respondents to this study had similar educational levels (Bachelors degree), at 68.8 percent. A number of researchers have proved that by participating in leisure activities, this affects the lives of such individuals in a positive way. For example, Ragheb and Griffith (1982) opine that leisure participation, along with leisure satisfaction; jointly symbolize the level to which an individual is satisfied with their personal lives.

Besides, Hsieh, Spaulding and Riney (2004) are of the opinion that those individual that are known to spend an increasingly amount of their time in leisure activities demonstrates enhanced levels of psychological well-being. Additionally, Jenkins and Pigram (2003) contend that the role that leisure activities play in the lives of individual could be utilized as a vital stress management tool.

A study that was carried out in 1990 by Russell confirms that life satisfaction is symbolic of the level to which the participants are satisfied with the leisure activities that they take part in. the study that Russell carried out was more concerned with an assessment of the correlation existing between on the one hand, leisure, and on the other hand, variables that impacts on life circumstances. In this case, the most important variable that Russell dwelt on to a great extent was her respondent’s quality of life. The author discovered that sex, religiosity, marital status, age, and education, bore a strong positive correlation with leisure satisfaction, and the activities of leisure that the participants to the study took part in. on the other hand, it is important to put in mind the fact that the rest of the variable only had an indirect influence on the respondents’ quality of life; leisure satisfaction was the only one elements that directly impacted of the respondent’s life in a significant way.

Zabriskie and McCormick (2003), contends, “[if] leisure plays a substantial role in an individual’s life satisfaction and quality of life… then it can be hypothesized that family leisure may also be a primary contributor to family satisfaction and quality of family life” (p. 164). In a bid to experiment with this particular hypothesis, the authors involved family members in a survey that required them to complete a questionnaire on leisure involvement, against a leisure satisfaction scale that was provided to them. The results indicated a positive association between family satisfaction and leisure involvement (Zabriskie & McCormick, 2003), findings that concur with those that this researcher has reported on.

Outdoor activities, sports, indoor activities, cultural activities are the LPI variables for the study that yielded a positive correlation with the emotional intelligence exhibited by the respondents. These findings consistent with the discovery by Brackett and colleagues (2004), who have noted that the positive life experiences of an individuals bears a correlation with emotional intelligence. In this case, the more positive the life experiences of a person, the higher the emotional intelligence. This is am important discovery, because leisure participation is believed to result in a reduction in terms of the stresses that are related to life experiences. Therefore, individuals that participates more on leisure activities are more likely to enjoy positive life experiences.

The study that was carried out by Brackett and colleagues (2004) revealed a high correlation between on h one hand, low emotional intelligence from the male participants of the study and on the other hand, negative life coping skills. However, the authors discovered a different case with respect to their female respondents. Accordingly, it was the position of the authors that this may be the case because of the problems that men are usually faced with, when it comes to the expression as well as the identification of emotions (Fisher & Ashkanasy, 2000).

Van Rooy and Viswesvaran (2004) found out that a positive correlation exist between leisure satisfaction and emotional intelligence, and this may go a long way into positively impacting on the leisure-work balance of the elementary teachers that this study sought to focus on. Furthermore, emotional intelligence has also been found to have an effect on the experiences that an individual have at their workplace. In this regard, it is important to appreciate the fact that the activities that take place at the place of work, oftentimes ends up causing a build-up of stresses on the employees, and this is no different with the elementary school teachers. Therefore, in order that their productivity and general quality of life may improve, throe is a need for them to take part in leisure activities.

Conclusion

This research study was concerned with the examination of the correlation between leisure participation, leisure satisfaction and emotional intelligence amongst the elementary school teachers in Northern Taiwan. Accordingly, the impact that these parameters have on the elementary school teachers in Yilan County, Taipei County, Taoyuan County, and Hsinchu County in Northern Taiwan would be examined. With respect to the research findings and discussions of this study, a number of significant themes have been drawn; all of which are strongly related to the relationship among leisure participation, leisure satisfaction, and emotional intelligence among elementary school teachers in Northern Taiwan.

The differences in terms of educational levels amongst the elementary school teachers did not differ significantly, with more than two thirds of the respondents (68.8 percent) being bachelor degree holders. On the other hand, differences in emotional intelligence across the gender divide was noted, with female respondents exhibiting a higher emotional intelligence score in comparison with their male counterparts, as measured by the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale that the study adopted. This variation was attributed to the differences between males and females in their way of expressing emotions. A positive correlation was shown between Leisure Participation Involvement and marital status, with the married respondents exhibiting higher Leisure Participation Involvement scores, when compared with their non-married counterparts. On the other hand, both the Leisure Satisfaction Scale and the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale failed to yield significant differences

The level of education was not affected in a significant the emotional intelligence and the involvement in leisure activities by the respondents. The scores on leisure participation were seen to increase with an increase in the number of years of service by the elementary school teachers. The frequency of participating in such leisure activities as outdoor activities, sports and cultural activities were found to have a significant influence on Leisure Participation Involvement and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS), relative to the other forms of leisure activities. Similarly, Leisure Participation Involvement, outdoor activities, sports, indoor activities, cultural activities, and Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale reportedly had a positive correlation coefficient. Bicycling, Yuananji dance, Swimming, Calligraphy, Reading, Watching TV, and Listening to the radio were the variables of Leisure Participation Involvement that had a significant impact on the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale.

Recommendations

This study has revealed that amongst the respondents that were interviewed, there are some demographic factors that have positive impact on the involvement of elementary school teachers in leisure activities. Such includes their marital status, and the number if children. On the hand, gender had an impact on the emotional intelligence scores of the elementary school teachers. On the basis of the research findings for this study, their discussion and conclusion, the following recommendations have been arrived at, to better inform future research studies in the same area.

  1. There is a need to create awareness amongst the elementary school teachers on the positive relationship between life satisfaction and participation in leisure activities. Accordingly, the government and school administrators are called upon to ensure that elementary school teachers are made aware of this connection and the role that leisure activities plays in the management of workplace-related stress.
  2. It is important that elementary schools review their existing curricula, to make room for more leisure time to their teachers, even during the normal learning hours. In this case, reading clubs could be initiated to encompass both teachers and their students. Additionally, more arts lessons (for example, craft work and calligraphy) could also be allocated, as the study discovered that the elementary teachers ranked these hobbies as their most preferred leisure activities.
  3. School administrators should explore the possibility of including additional sports and recreational facilities that also takes into account the plight of teachers, so that they may enhance their leisure participation involvement. This is because for the married elementary teachers, they are more likely to be overwhelmed by family commitments away from school. As such, they could benefit more by taking part in additional leisure activities within the school environment.

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Elementary Education in Northern Taiwan
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