Recess is Crucial

January 2, 2013 by  
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A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools,” stresses the importance of recess in physical, social, and cognitive development and performance. According to the AAP, recess should not be withheld as punishment or sacrificed to academic instruction:

Recess is at the heart of a vigorous debate over the role of schools in promoting the optimal development of the whole child. A growing trend toward reallocating time in school to accentuate the more academic subjects has put this important facet of a child’s school day at risk. Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.

You can download the full policy statement from the AAP here (.pdf).