Play, Policy, & Practice   CONNECTIONS

Published by the Play, Policy, & Practice Interest Forum of the
National Association for the Education of Young Children

Volume XIV, Issue 1 Fall, 2013


Olga Jarrett, Guest Editor, Georgia State University, Atlanta

From the Guest Editor. . .

Our society has become increasingly complex, but there remains a need for every child to feel the sun and wind on his or her cheek and engage in self- paced play. Children’s attempts to make their way across monkey bars, negotiate the hopscotch course, play jacks, or toss a football require intricate behaviors of planning, balance, and strength–traits we want to encourage in children. Ignoring the developmental functions of unstructured outdoor play denies children the opportunity to expand their imaginations beyond the constraints of the classroom. (The value of school recess and outdoor play, NAEYC, 1997)

This is not the first time Play, Policy, & Practice (PPP) Connections has had a special issue on recess. The last one was 10 years ago. In an article I wrote in that issue (Jarrett, 2003), I mentioned that three of six metro-Atlanta school systems, those with the highest percentage of African American and Hispanic youth and the highest percentage of children on free and reduced-price lunch, had policies against recess. The good news is that those school systems now allow recess, and some schools encourage it. However, many children still do not get recess since time for test preparation often interferes, and many teachers deprive children of recess as punishment for a range of infractions including disrespect, noise in the lunchroom, failure to turn in homework, and failure of their parent to return a signed note as required by the school. The children most often deprived of recess are African American males, a demographic group that needs to play and be active as much as other children.

See full Newsletter at Fall2013 PPPConnections