Children are sometimes kept in from recess as a disciplinary measure, but thanks to studies showing play and exercise support classroom learning, fewer students are now having recess taken away, according to Education Week. The publication reports that many schools have implemented policies to limit the use of withholding recess as a form of punishment.
Those in support of the new policies cite the benefits that physical exercise and unstructured play can have for children. Education Week quotes practitioners.
‘That physical activity and play, those things are not luxuries for kids,’ said Sara Zimmerman, the technical-assistance director of the Oakland, Calif.-based Safe Routes to School National Partnership, which advocates increased physical activity for students. ‘That’s a key part of how kids learn and how they grow.
‘A lot of times the kids who lose physical activity are the ones who need it most,’ said Emily O’Winter, the wellness coordinator for Jefferson County schools in Colorado. ‘It can have a snowball effect.’
However, some say that taking recess away can sometimes be an appropriate consequence for some students, and that educators should be allowed discretion in choosing appropriate disciplinary measures.
What do you think? Can withholding recess be a useful disciplinary tool?