The State of Elementary School Recess in Georgia: Studying Recess Before and "After" COVID

Location

Boston 1

Session Format

Presentation

Abstract

Recess is a time-honored part of elementary school, but contemporary educational priorities have been eroding this once common-place practice. The emphasis on structured experiences in service of academics implies there is a perception that recess is not only unimportant but also counter-productive to student success. The research-based evidence belies this assumption. The erosion of recess is especially concerning because of how disproportionately economically, socially, and culturally marginalized or under-served students lose out on this play that is proven to support positive student outcomes across domains. COVID added increased pressure to recess practices in schools. This study sought to understand the current state of elementary recess in Georgia to inform both educational policy and next-steps research.

Keywords

recess, play, COVID, elementary, legislation

Professional Bio

Dr. Karyn Allee is an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Mercer University working primarily with graduate teacher certification candidates and PhD students. Her research focuses on how poverty affects cognitive development, social justice work in education, and instructional strategies (including play and physical activity) to reduce academic achievement gaps.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Feb 2nd, 10:30 AM Feb 2nd, 12:00 PM

The State of Elementary School Recess in Georgia: Studying Recess Before and "After" COVID

Boston 1

Recess is a time-honored part of elementary school, but contemporary educational priorities have been eroding this once common-place practice. The emphasis on structured experiences in service of academics implies there is a perception that recess is not only unimportant but also counter-productive to student success. The research-based evidence belies this assumption. The erosion of recess is especially concerning because of how disproportionately economically, socially, and culturally marginalized or under-served students lose out on this play that is proven to support positive student outcomes across domains. COVID added increased pressure to recess practices in schools. This study sought to understand the current state of elementary recess in Georgia to inform both educational policy and next-steps research.