J. Cajide Val, M.R. Castro González, I. González Gómez, M.C. Sánchez Amor

Universidad Santiago de Compostela, Instituto de Ciencias da Educación (ICE) (SPAIN)
The changes that are taking place in the current society in the areas sociological, psychological, educational and health: the reduction of the family unit, the incorporation of women into the working world, the new learning theories, the use of technologies and the sedentary lifestyle which it entails, the inappropriate eating habits... involve schools centres cannot be oblivious to this reality and, therefore, increasingly it is demanding to them the provision of services that are considered traditionally in the field of the formal education.

So, the extracurricular activities begin to have presence with two objectives well delimited, one related to a strictly educational perspective and another like a service destined to the reconciliation. However, this is not a new initiative due to it has historical tradition. On this matter, one of the referents more important in the educational history, with regard the topic that we are studing, was the "Institución Libre de Enseñanza", which is pioneering in this sense; so this teaching institution developed activities such as walks, excursions and visits.

The extracurricular activities are, according to the normative, activities that, organized by centre and included in the annual general programming approved by board of governors, are developed out of the timetable. The participation in these activities is voluntary (Decree 374/1996, October 17th, that pass the organic regulation of nursery schools and schools of primary education) (DOG, 21/10/96, cap. IV, art. 70).

In addition to its role as an instrument of learning support, the extracurricular activities represent for some authors an area very important in education for leisure and recreation. This character entails that in its programming and selection should prevail, over the purely curricular or organizational, the own interests and motivations of the children. Because, although these activities are part of leisure for children, recently, the existence of this is not sufficient to ensure his pedagogical profits; it is very important to asked by his correct utilization like didactic instrument, exploring the educational uses of each of them, that can result different as each children. The profits attributed to these activities will depend on their use or abuse.

This type of activities is part of this time of children fully organized by family and school, according to Tonucci: “The school takes up a large part of daily time with school hours and homework. The family takes up the remaining time "giving" children extracurricular activities, sports, language or creative (but always educational)”. This position leads us to rethink the concept of time use, the need to reduce the current concerns about its high profitability, to believe definitively in the importance for children to have, simply, leisure.

In this context, the present work has as objective know the offer, typology and quality of the extracurricular activities in the educational centres of compulsory education of the Autonomous Region of Galicia, to extract the main pedagogical implications and proposals of improvement.