Charles Ames Fischer

Teacher • Author • Consultant • Mentor


The Importance of Recess

Posted by Charles Fischer on December 6, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I was recently at a Middle School and found out that the students did not have a any recess. Cruelly, the 5th graders who shared the building with them, did get recess. After asking around a bit, I found that a lot of middle schools had NO recess. The schools that did had an average of about 20 minutes. 

I believe strongly in having recess at schools and I could go on about it for hours, but I want to stay objective here. For those that are interested, there is strong evidence that recess benefits schools.

In a February 2010 report entitled The State of Play, there were six key findings:


  1. Recess has a positive impact on achievement and learning
  2. Recess benefits child development in important, non-academic ways
  3. Recess remains a precious commodity at most schools. Despite is links to achievement, many schools cut recess to meet testing requirements
  4. Despite the connection between recess and good student behavior, schools continue to take recess away as a punishment for bad behavior
  5. Recess is the time of day when schools face the biggest behavior management challenges
  6. Schools are looking for help with recess
Their recommendations:

It’s time for education policymakers at all levels to take play seriously. 
Between clinical evidence and the direct input of our nation’s principals, the benefits of recess are well documented. Recess should no longer be treated as an afterthought or an expendable block of time. Instead, it must be recognized as an essential part of the school day. In addition, schools should end the practice of taking recess away as punishment. 

Schools should enhance recess to improve learning and school climate. 
For all of its contributions to learning, recess is the single biggest source of student disciplinary problems. Th

Categories: Multiple Intelligences, Naturalist

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