Survey Says: Recess is a Right, Not a Reward
Earlier this year, IPEMA’s Voice of Play worked with Wakefield Research and surveyed 500 U.S. elementary school teachers to gather their perspectives on play, since teachers have a first-hand view to the importance of recess to the students they teach. Among the findings was that each teacher surveyed – 100 percent – said that recess is essential for young students’ mental and physical development! “Play is essential to a child’s development, so it’s exciting to see teachers are aligned with the National Institute for Play’s scientific evidence of the developmental benefits of a playful recess,” said Tom Norquist, IPEMA’s 2018 president.
What was concerning, though, was that nearly two in three elementary school teachers frequently use recess to motivate their students, and almost half (49 percent) decrease or take away recess time as punishment for bad behavior. “Play shouldn’t be seen as extracurricular or a form of punishment, or even optional, but rather a right for every child,” said Norquist. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that recess is a necessary part of children’s development and it should not be withheld for disciplinary or academic reasons.
Read more about the survey findings and benefits of recess on Parks and Rec Business.
Teachers also said they benefit from recess, too – 64 percent said that recess allows them to take a break and collect their thoughts and recharge, 38 percent said it gives them an opportunity to plan the rest of the day, and 26 percent said it allows them to play and exercise as well.
To read more about the survey, click here.