For Young Children, Plat at School is important as work - The Chicago School Reviews
For Young Children, Play at School is as Important as WorkPubished:http://thechicagoschoolreviews.com/foryoungchildrenplayatschoolisasimportantaswork/ Education has seen a resurgence of factual overload and English and math drills, even foryoung children. As the charter movement takes the United States by storm, many youngpeople, some as young as 6 or 7 years old, are finding themselves stuck inside of a classroomall day, with infrequent opportunities for play at recess or team building time. This is especially the case in urban education. Educators are concerned with “closing theachievement gap” and “catching up” students who are behind their peers who have historicallyhad more access to quality educational resources. When educators operate with extendedschool days that do not include any time for unstructured freedom or play outdoors, children losevaluable – yes, valuable – playtime. According to a Time Magazine article, research has shown that recessis just as important forchildren’s development as being in the classroom. Pediatricians are advocating for unstructuredplaytime simply because, especially at a young age, kids just need a break. When a school is focused too intently on playing catchup with students who came in belowstandard grade level, play falls very easily by the wayside as teachers jump quickly from onesubject to the next, essentially overloading children with knowledge and information that theycannot process all at once. Creating scheduled time in the day for an unstructured break createsdowntime between the complicated intellectual challenges that kids face in each subject theystudy. Very few states actually impose mandatory recess or physical education. Only three, in fact –Delaware, Virginia and Nebraska – require 20 minutes of recess every day. And, as childdevelopment specialists note, recess and physical education are in no way the same thing.While the oftenunmet standard of 150 minutes per week of physical education is a crucial pieceof elementary education, the unstructured nature of recess sets it apart. Without intentionally scheduled play built into school days, children’s attention spans andcapabilities for processing information suffer. These children end up finding little enjoyment inschool. Even worse, according to a study by the New York Times, is when teachers take awayrecess or unstructured playtime as punishment for misbehavior, often from the kids who mostneed a break from classroom time.
For many children, physical education and recess are also the only forms of exercise that theyget away from home. Young children, like all people, need to exercise frequently. Becausechildren are less selfaware than adults, exercise – just like play – must be an intentionalaspect of their schedules. Without recess or even a period of structured physical activity, thesekids lose all the benefits of exercise. With child obesity on the rise, this is a problem thatschools could help to solve rather than contribute to.Sources:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/24well.htmlhttp://healthland.time.com/2012/12/31/yayforrecesspediatricianssayitsasimportantasmathorreading/