While the benefits of physical activity among children has given rise to little, if any, debate, the benefits of midday playtime has. On one end of the spectrum some say that recess poses safety hazards and cuts into much needed instructional time; on the other end of the spectrum, proponents say recess may actually help children perform better in the classroom.
A new study from the latter camp shows that time away from the classroom might be especially beneficial for Black and Latino students.
According to researchers from Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, teachers reported less bullying, better recess behavior and more readiness for classes among students who engaged in recess.
To evaluate the benefits of break time, the study focused in on a program called Playworks, a nonprofit which uses recess to address social and emotionaldevelopment issues large Black and Latino student populations. Researchers collected onsite observations and feedback from 1,982 fourth and fifth grade students, 247 teachers, and 25 principals, as well as the 14 Playworks coaches who participated in the study.