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Impact Of Recess On Classroom Behavior

1156 words - 5 pages

Impact of Recess on Classroom Behavior

When comparing the amount of time American children spend at ‘recess’ during the school day, you will see, that it is considerably less than the amount of time given by other countries. Japanese schools typically have a 10-20 min recess period between 45-min lessons or 5-min breaks between lessons, with a long play period after lunch. In Taiwan, schools typically have many recess periods during the day; children are also given 5-6 min of transition after recess in which to settle down. British schools have three 15-min recess periods throughout the day and 80-90 minutes at lunch. Many researcher believe that this recess period is key to classroom instruction.
Research was done to determine the effect of a recess break on classroom behavior; specifically working, fidgeting, and listlessness. A southern urban school district with a ‘no recess policy’, granted permission for two grade 4 classes to have recess once a week so that behavior on recess days could be compared to that of behavior on non-recess days. Because recess was not in the normal daily schedule, the students would not anticipate it, and this anticipation could not effect the results. The days for recess were chosen randomly so that a pattern would not develop and be anticipated.

The study looked at 43 children, 18 boys and 25 girls, from a variety of backgrounds; socially, ethnically, and economically. The school was located in middle class-upper middle class neighborhood and serves neighborhood children as well as children bussed in from transient housing.

This quantitative study explained very clearly the types of children that were to be studied, the specific controls that would be used, and the results that were being anticipated. Researchers conducting this test were looking for the effectiveness that recess has on the student, if any. The children were placed into two research groups; A and B.

Classroom A’s normal morning schedule is as follows.
8:00-9:30 Instruction in their own classroom
9:30-11:15 Mathematics and science in another classroom (where they were observed)
11:15-12:00 Instruction in their own classroom

On the days when the children had recess, they took a break from mathematics and science to go outside from approximately 10:30-10:50.

Classroom B’s normal morning schedule is as follows.
8:00-9:30 Instruction in their own classroom
9:30-11:15 Instruction in another classroom
11:15-12:00 Mathematics and science in their own classroom (where they were

At 11:15, when the children returned to their own classroom and had settled down with their books and papers, they began work or went directly outside for recess lasting approximately 11:20-11:40.

After four months of research the results showed that children in Class A did not differ much from children in Class B in their pre-recess behavior on recess and non-recess days which...

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