18 September 2008

Unstructured Recess Disappearing

Last year, I reported that recess was being eliminated at many local schools.

Now the Washington Post reports that local schools have hired a non-profit group to organize play on the playground. And this group has plans to expand across the country promoting structured play during recess:

...Traditionally the one period of the school day when children are free of adult-imposed structure, recess is increasingly regarded by educators as a trouble spot. They say that in the Xbox- and Internet-dominated world of many students, the culture of healthy group play has eroded, turning recess into a chaotic and sometimes violent period where strife from the schoolyard can spill over into afternoon classes

... designated areas, marked ...with small orange pylons or chalk lines on the asphalt. There was "snowball alley" (a dialed-back version of dodge ball), jump rope, three-on-three basketball and foursquare. Disputes are resolved by rock-paper-scissors.

... she started to observe schoolyards, it struck her that games fell apart quickly and that slights easily escalated into serious conflicts.

"Knowing how to play in a healthy way is not an innate skill. It's learned,"

1 comment:

dave said...

Both the problem and their proposed structured play solution are disturbing trends.