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There is a common misconception in our society that recess does not serve any real purpose. The Board of Directors of the American Association for the Child's Right to Play (IPA/USA) believe that recess is vital to a child's overall healthy development. (IPA/USA ) Recess periods, which are regularly scheduled periods within the elementary school day for unstructured physical activity and play, (Wechsler, Devereaux, Davis, & Collins, 2000) gives students a chance to discover their interests and passions, to develop ingenuity and inventiveness. (Schulz, K. 1998) Recess serves as a vehicle that helps children establish self-esteem and strive for achievable personal goals. (Young, J.C. 1997) "It also allows children to practice life skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation, respect for rules, taking turns, sharing, using language to communicate and problem solving in real situations that are real." (Council on Physical Education for Children-COPEC, 2001)
In a 1989 survey by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, 90% of the reporting school districts had some form of recess. Since that date nearly forty percent of the nation's 16,000 school districts have either modified, deleted or are considering deleting recess from the daily elementary school schedule. (National Association of Early Childhood Specialists-NAECS)
"Opportunities for children to be physically active during school time are sparse and becoming increasingly so." (Dale, Corbin & Dale, 2002)" Administrators cite that a "fear of lawsuits if children become injured, a concern over children's safety from stangers around school grounds, and a shortage of people to supervise the children during recess" has led many schools to implement "no recess" policies. (Ramsburg, D.,1998)
Today's educators are at a loss about how to improve student's performance in school. (Schulz, 1998) "It all began with the 'Nation at Risk' report in 1983," says Charles Doyle, assistant dean of the School of Education at Chicago's DePaul University. This was a federal call to action that shocked the nation when it highlighted American schoolchildren's poor standing internationally and led to a push for standardized testing. (Goodale, D., 1998) Time spent outside the classroom like recess is seen as time wasted and the operating theory is that more time at desks equals higher test scores. (Schulz, 1998). This disturbing phenomenon has no serious research to back it up and is actually counterproductive to increasing the academic achievements of students. Professional organizations, educators, administrators, teachers, and parents are becoming increasingly concerned with this present trend. (NAECS)
Recess provides children with an avenue for their natural desire for vigorous physical play. "Through active, and even rough and tumble play, young children can learn about their bodies' capabilities and how to control themselves in their environment." (IPA/USA) Children are encouraged to take turns, negotiate or modify rules and cooperate with one another in traditional recess activities like jump rope, kickball, and hopscotch. (IPA/USA) "Unstructured play gives the
Quotes talked about in this paper
- "It all began with the ‘Nation at Risk' report in 1983," says Charles Doyle, ...
- "Physical activity is essential for the healthy growth and development of children. Among 5 to 8 year-olds, 40% have significant cardiac risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an inactive life style." (IPA/USA) Since adult physical activity patterns can often be traced to childhood, it is reasonable to expect that healthy activity patterns initiated at a young age will persist through adulthood." (Pivarnik, ...
- "Unstructured play gives the child an opportunity to exercise a sense of wonder, which leads to exploration, which leads to creativity" (Starr, L., 2001) There's an added ...
Terminology referenced in this research paper
Names talked about in this essay
Starr, Ramsburg, Schulz, Goodale, Wechsler, Culpepper, J.C. 1997, Devereaux, Jarrett, Charles Doyle, Dale, Corbin, Ms. Murphy, Jane M. Healy, Davis M., ERIC Digest, Strickland, Math, Pellegrini, O. S., Pivarnik, Glickman,
Organizations mentioned in this research paper
National Association of Early Childhood, daily elementary school, National Association of Elementary School Principals, School of Education, National Association for Sport, Congress, DePaul University, Michigan Governor’s Council, State Departments Of Education, NAECS).,
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Health Conditions talked about in this paper
high blood pressure, obesity,
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Keywords referenced in this essay
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