Teachers’ perceptions of the benefits of recess on the development of elementary students.
Jones, Marlena J.
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SubjectSchool recess breaks; Child development -- Case studies.; Education, Elementary.; School children.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine teachers' perceptions of the effects of recess on elementary students‟ academic and interpersonal development. Recess duration in schools has declined drastically over the years in some schools and doesn't occur at all in others (Blatchford, 1998). Recess time is being taken away by increased demands for academic work that have resulted from new federal and state mandates for accountability. As a result recess has been used as a reward or motivator if work gets completed. Focus must be directed, however, on the broader developmental benefits that recess provides for students. Study participants included 38 elementary teachers from two school districts, one rural and the other urban, in Western New York. Teachers completed the Teachers' Perceptions of the Benefits of Recess for Elementary students Survey, a 5-point, Likert-type scale, anonymously and independently. Teacher ratings reflected the perceived importance and potential benefits of recess and also noted trends and barriers against its use in contemporary schools. Implications for research and discussion are provided.