Disappearing Recess Implications – Ben Hirshberg

The Big Picture

  • Recess has been a staple in American elementary schools for over one hundred years, implemented as a time for children to play freely. Recently, the No Child Left Behind Act has put so much pressure on elementary schools to score well on standardized tests that many elementary schools have decreased their allotted recess time or eliminated it completely in hopes that their students will score higher. This trend is noticed especially in marginalized populations, as recess has been removed disproportionately from schools primarily enrolling African American and poor students. Recess should be a part of elementary school curriculum because research shows that recess has positive implications in the classroom, on the human brain and body, and on the social development and wellbeing of children.
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