Disappearing Recess Implications – Ben Hirshberg


  • Many elementary schools fear that they will be labeled as a failing school if they do not increase their test scores, so they have added math and reading classroom instruction time at the expense of many curriculum items including recess. This trend was sparked by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which demanded that student performance increase dramatically. The elementary schools that have decreased or completely cut out recess are misguided, as there is no evidence pointing to increased test scores with increased classroom time. Additionally, the elementary schools that decrease or cut recess from their curricula are depriving their students from essential playtime. The play that takes place during recess serves an important role in developing the human brain and body, in addition to facilitating the learning of many life skills and creation of social relationships. For these reasons, it is critical that recess is included in the curriculum in every elementary school in the United States.
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