Friday, January 27, 2006

The Recess Conundrum

Is it appropriate for a teacher to cancel an entire class's recess because students "aren't far enough along in their studies?"
A Central Texas mom is mad at her son's school for not letting his fourth grade class out to recess.

"I'm really concerned no only for my son, but also for the other kids who don't have recess," says Lina Abad. She says her 9-year-old is hyper-active and not having recess only makes him get into trouble.

But, at Waco Independent School District's Meadow Brook Elementary, policy is for the individual teacher to schedule recess for their class.

Principal John Campbell told us if the teacher does not feel the students are far enough along in studies, then recess can be cancelled.

Physical Education classes are scheduled every other day, but according to research, it might not be enough.

"We need that recess," says Baylor Professor of Physical Education, Doctor Karen Fredenburg. "We need that break or that freedom from what they have to do, that structure all day long."

Experts say recess actually helps promote learning, by giving an outlet to digest all the information.

And Dr. Fredenburg says further studies show a class like math or reading. The structure format doesn't allow children the freedom to make choices that recess does.
Personally, I think that students need a daily recess; kids need to be kids. Having said that, teachers also need that little break from the classroom.

With the epidemic of childhood obesity becoming steadily worse, I firmly believe that students need physical education each and every school day.
See this week's Carnival Of Education right here and our latest education-related posts over there.