According to a new Gallup poll sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 8 in 10 principals said recess has a positive impact on academic achievement, with more than two-thirds saying that students are more attentive following recess. Ninety-six percent of those polled said recess had a positive impact on social development.
Interesting, isn't it? According to the American Association for the Child's Right to Play, 80% of elementary schools have eliminated recess and new schools are being built without playgrounds. And the number one reason for this nonsense is the belief that the children need more time for "academics" and in order to pass tests!
One really fascinating thing I learned while working with the staff of the Chicago Children's Museum is that all parties involved in a child's education -- parents, teachers, and administrators -- are pointing the finger elsewhere when it comes to the demise of play. CCM did its own survey and discovered that
parents express frustration that school educators eliminate play in favor of 'teaching to the tests,' while classroom teachers believe parents view play as oppositional to the development of 'competitive' children. Educators grapple with administrators who forbid play in the classroom, while administrators assert that educators don't utilize more playful curricula. Among these disparate groups is the mutual acknowledgment that adults often view other adults as impediments to children's meaningful play. ("The State of Play in Chicago's Communities")
So, now it appears that administrators are in favor of recess. Wonder whose fault it is that it's disappearing?