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Student Research Projects

The Reasons for the Reduction of Recess Time in Primary Education and the Subsequent Effects on Students

Student Christina Irby
Department Education
Course INST 482

Abstract

With the reduction or elimination of recess time in primary-
grades schools occurring more frequently, I want to find out why recess time is being reduced in the Hampton Roads elementary schools and the subsequent effects on children behavior and academic performance. The implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act is increasing schools focus on academics, but is also leading schools to reduce and/or eliminate recess and physical education to increase time for classroom instruction in order to boost performance on mandated standardized tests used to measure Annual Yearly Progress and to obtain accreditation. The result of this academic focus has had several detrimental effects on the elementary student population. Research points out that the lack of recess and physical education is contributing to obesity in younger children as well as decreased attention spans in the classroom. I will be interviewing principals and teachers in the Hampton Roads schools to determine what curricular changes have occurred over the last 10 years with
regard to recess times due to increased focus on test scores, and to determine if these professionals have noticed changes in student performance and behavior in schools that have reduced or eliminated recess time.

 

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