Most states are currently in the process of eliminating recess from their normal school programs. Different educational boards have cited a number of reasons for this action. These range from the fact that recess exposes children to unregulated play to the lack of enough time to learn.
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There are also issues pertaining to the freedom of children during recess, which gives them the opportunity to bully each other and engage in negative social activities such as teasing. Some of the stakeholders have identified that children have to be molded through learning where a teacher provides structured guidance in all aspects of their lives (Johnson, Christie and Wardle 367).
This means that the freedom to participate in their own play activities freely may be discouraging a child’s wholesome growth. The fact that teachers are aware of what is best for each child under their care means that they are in an elaborate position to provide helpful guidance during play. There have also been a number of legal liabilities that have seen school boards incurring huge losses as a result of legal suits where parents sue the school for injuries sustained during play.
This debate seems to have overshadowed the benefits of free play as they are identified in the personal development of the child. Children are in a position to establish their own perceptions in as far as their environment and the people around them are concerned (Johnson, Christie and Wardle 383). This should be subject to some level of guidance to eliminate negative influences, but at the same time, it should not be dominated by adult preferences.
The fact that recesses as well as other activities that a child engages in while at school are supposed to prepare him or her for the eventual adult life means that normal social settings should be encouraged. The elimination of recess defeats the purpose of a random learning environment as the guidance provided to children remains unpractical in their adult life because of the random challenges they face (Johnson, Christie and Wardle 378).
Recess helps build an adaptive character where a child is able to cognitively perceive positive aspects out of every scenario without having to be forced by the teacher or guardian. The child has to learn to engage his or her creative abilities without having to rely on the teacher or guardian. The fact that children are at the top of the developmental ladder means that they are more likely to achieve mental, emotional and physical growth in the process of play.
There are a number of aspects of growth especially in as far as physical and emotional growth is concerned, which occur naturally. The solving of social dilemmas is often advised by inherent knowledge developed through voluntary growth. This is often encouraged through the engagement in free play where there is no adult influence that imparts regenerated solutions, which can be easily forgotten.
The elimination of recess can be greatly attributed to the changing social structure as well as the changing perceptions among parents. The fact that parents perceive their children as being in a position to avoid all the negative influences that they had to deal with as children such as injuries and bullies means that they are the main proponents of guided play (Johnson, Christie and Wardle 385).
Teachers are also more concerned over the opinions of parents rather than the general well-being of the children that entrusted unto them.
Johnson, James, Christie James, and Wardle Francis. Play, Development, and Early Education. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. 2005. Print.