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The Loss of Recess and the Potential Effects on Young Student's Well-Being

Seth Adelman
Ohio Northern University

Decreased recess time is a situation plaguing many schools across the United States.  Increases in academic requirements and standards are leaving students without the midday playground time previously allotted to them in the past.  In citing theories by Mead (1934) and Vygotsky (1933), it becomes apparent that cutbacks in free range play with one’s peers could potentially have unfavorable effects on a student’s development in a number of areas, especially for those of a younger age.  Analysis of this situation leaves the conclusion that in order to develop healthy and socially adept children schools should provide their pupils with a period of time every day to indulge in the act of play, particularly with others of a similar age.  This article looks at the trend of lost recess time and argues that while increased time for academia is important, a reduction in play could be more damaging and detrimental than previously realized.

Annual meeting of the Anthologists and Sociologists of Kentucky, Columbia, KY