Rescuing Recess

There has been a recent debate about the role of recess in Florida schools as more administrators say that they are cutting back or eliminating recess entirely. The article and video can be viewed here.

“With Common Core standards increasingly taking hold across the country more school administrators are saying they simply don’t have enough time in the day, and that is leading to an increasing number of them putting an end to recess”.-NBC Today Show

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Parents are fighting back- and rightfully so. In the structured system of institutional education, recess provides an absolutely necessary respite from structure and academics that children need to socialize, be physically active, play, and have fun. In fact, “The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons”(source).

School boards have replied to parental concerns by citing time and academic achievement, saying that “we will come to a place…where we have to admit that we really don’t have enough minutes in a day to get everything done that we would like to see accomplished for our children”. My response to this is to question the real reasons recess is being cut, and if these interests are truly for children and their physical and emotional health- or rather administrators and their personal concerns of finance, achievement, and competition.

The wider discussion this subject brings up is the importance of recognizing the underlying reasons for educational decision-making. We must continue to look at the motivations behind the way we educate, and be willing to recognize when politics, money, and ego are put before the wellbeing of children.

“Play is the highest form of research”-Albert Einstein

Great reads on this topic:

The Crucial Role of Recess in School- American Academy of Paediatrics 

Is Free Play Essential For Learning?  

Unstructured Free Play Important For Kids

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