Sunday, 27 January 2013

Recess Is as Important as Class Time, Pediatricians Say | TIME.com


You'll have to excuse me if these next few items aren't timely. I save them when I see them and rarely have time to post them.  Regardless of when they were written they're still very pertinent.

Their are a lot of different venues for children to learn. Reducing, removing or institutionalising what happens during recesses destroys social development and an integral opportunity for knowledge consolidation.
 
Full article can be read from the link above. 


Playtime can be as important as class time for helping students perform their best.

Recess is most children’s favorite period, and parents and teachers should encourage that trend, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Recess can be a critical time for development and social interaction, and in a new policy statement published in the journal Pediatrics, pediatricians from the AAP support the importance of having a scheduled break in the school day. “Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges,” says Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor of human nutrition at the Ohio State University who is a co-author of the statement. “They tend to be less able to process information the longer they are held to a task. It’s not enough to just switch from math to English. You actually have to take a break.”

The AAP committee that developed the statement began its research in 2007, expecting to discover that recess is important as a physical outlet for children. What they found, however, was that playtime’s benefits extend beyond the physical. “We came to the realization that it really affects social, emotional and cognitive development in a much deeper way than we’d expected,” she says. “It helps children practice conflict resolution if we allow them unstructured play, and it lets them come back to class more ready to learn and less fidgety.”

The policy could be a lifeline for the dwindling role recess plays in the school day as districts trim budgets and hours of instruction, and squeeze more academic subjects into existing or even fewer school days, often sacrificing recess in the process.

......It’s also important to distinguish recess from physical education, says Ramstetter. While gym class offers kids a chance to stretch their legs and get their heart rate up, it is still considered instructional time, with very different goals from those of the unstructured downtime of recess. Likewise, it’s important to let kids play what they want — that means playground monitors shouldn’t organize kids to play kickball or soccer. “When it’s structured, it’s not a break in the day,” she says.
...... That understanding reflects a growing body of research documenting the power of some time off for improving concentration and even creativity. 
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