What’s happened to recess?


As school districts cut budgets, worry about litigation and squeeze more academics into limited time, recess has taken a hit in terms of frequency and duration in some schools throughout the country.  Only six states mandate 20 minutes of elementary school recess a day.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently joined other organizations and education researchers in advocating for a scheduled break in the day for children with their release of a new policy statement  The Crucial Role of Recess in School.  The authors argue that recess offers a needed opportunity for children to break from cognitive and academic rigors, helps develop important social and emotional skills, and lets kids get much-needed physical exercise.  In this hour of Radio Times will look at the debate over recess – why some schools  have  eliminated it, why and how its changed over the years, and why children need it?  Our guests are health educator CATHERINE RAMSTETTER, co-author of the AAP policy statement, and University of the Arts professor and play researcher ANNA BERESIN, author of Recess Battles and founder of Recess Access.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

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