The Crucial Role of Recess in School
Recess is at the heart of a vigorous debate over the role of schools in promoting the optimal development of the whole child. A growing trend toward reallocating time in school to accentuate the more academic subjects has put this important facet of a child’s school day at risk. Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it. 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.
February 1, 2016
The Playworks TeamUp program can help schools make recess more organized and safe, and ensure healthy play is taking place. Participating schools reported improvements in recess organization, students’ familiarity with a variety of games, and their access to playground equipment. The majority of TeamUp schools said that after they started using the program, students were…
May 2, 2013
Impact and Implementation Findings from an Experimental Evaluation of Playworks: Effects on School Climate, Academic Learning, Student Social Skills and Behavior ›
Summary A randomized control trial by Mathematica Policy Research and Stanford University found that compared to control schools, Students are more physically active at Playworks schools: There was a 43% difference in the amount of time students spent in vigorous activity during recess at Playworks schools compared to non Playworks schools. Playworks schools have…
December 1, 2014
Playing Fair: The Contribution of High-Functioning Recess to Overall School Climate in Low-Income Elementary Schools ›
In schools that achieved a high functioning recess, teachers and principals agreed that by the end of the year, recess offered more opportunities for student engagement, conflict resolution, pro-social skill development, and emotional and physical safety. Respondents linked these changes to improved overall school climate.