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ERIC Number: EJ868215
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Recess--It's Indispensable!
Jarrett, Olga; Waite-Stupiansky, Sandra
Young Children, v64 n5 p66-69 Sep 2009
The demise of recess in many elementary schools--and of outdoor play in general--is an issue of great concern to many members of the Play, Policy, and Practice Interest Forum. Most people remember recess as an important part of the school day. It was a time to be outdoors; to organize games; to play on the swings, slides, and other playground equipment; or just to hang out with friends. In contrast, children today are likely to have 10 to 15 minutes of outdoor playtime during the school day, if they are lucky. No wonder there is an upswing in childhood obesity and an increase in childhood heart disease and type 2 diabetes. No wonder teachers are concerned about a generation of children who can't entertain themselves, have social difficulties, and are fidgety and off task in class. In the late 1980s, some school systems began cutting back on recess to allow more instructional time. The trend accelerated with the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001 and was particularly widespread in urban schools with high numbers of children from marginalized populations. The arguments against recess involved both academics and safety issues. Some administrators believed their school's test scores would improve if children spent more time on school work. Some feared lawsuits from playground injuries. A number of school systems have a recess policy; others allow the principals or teachers to determine whether the children go out to play. Officially having recess and "actually" having recess are two different issues. In this article, the authors list some cognitive, social-emotional, and physical benefits of recess. They call on readers to stand up for recess and provide some steps readers can take.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001