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The effect on development when recess is substituted with technology.

BY: Samuel Smith, Darrell Waller, Asia Starr, Jaimie Mclean


Table of Contents Background and history of the problem… 3 Darrell’s background… 3-4 Asia’s Background…4-5 Jaimie’s background…5-6 Ramifications of the Problem …. 7 Darrell’s Ramifications … 7-8 Asia’s Ramifications… 8 Jaimie’s Ramifications… 8-9 Proposed solution to the problem… 10 Darrell’s solutions… 10-11 Asia’s Solutions…11-12 Jaimie’s Solution…12-13 Appendix, sources and bios… 14-15


Background and history of the problem By Darrell Waller 1. Parents hovering over the learning of children, “Helicopter Parents”. Parents are taking more of an interest in their children’s learning these days. More families have stay at home parents because one spouse is making more money, this than provides more time for the other spouse to be involved with their children. This means they can watch the teachers and schools and have an opinion about everything their child is taught. Parents who are so involved with their kids lives they are always trying to swoop in and fix everything for their child. They are not letting their children fix things on their own and learn how to deal with problems. Children are not learning to be “Street wise” because they are always under the supervision of parents now who schedule everything for them. There is no more free time for children to learn their own life lessons, parents block out their kids entire day and have too many things planned.

2. Schools are having more budget cuts while educational expectations are on the rise. Teachers are trying to keep up at school when the budget is being cut, they have more kids to teach and they are still expected to keep the kids learning at a certain standard. This leaves teachers unhappy and looking for a way to please parents who often come to them unhappy with their child’s performance in their class. A poll of teachers and principals shows that 86% of teachers and 78% of principals are saying their school is having budget problems. Teachers are being evaluated more than ever before and new standards of what the children need to learn are being raised with the Obama administration.

3. Children expected to learn more and know more than before. With technology connecting more people around the world, there is more competition to get job positions than ever before. Plus with a weak economy more people are looking for jobs, causing companies to have their pick of plenty of people.


A survey polled parents and asked, “Do you think your child is expected to learn more or less than you were at the same age?” More than 85.6% of parents said yes, while 5.7% said their children had to learn the same amount, and 8.4% said their children had to learn less.

By Asia Starr Children have not changed but the world around them has and not to their advantage. Today the world is fast past and expects children to keep up. Schools used to require recess for children. But in the last 30 years this free time for kids to play outside has been reduced and replaced. Identify the factors that contribute to cause and/or intensify the problem: -“Yet recess has been scaled back or cut altogether in a number of schools around the country. The trend can be traced back to the late eighties and was accelerated under No Child Left Behind. Districts under pressure to show academic progress began to squeeze as much instruction into the day as possible. Others eliminated recess because of concerns about safety, lack of supervision, and subpar playground equipment.” -test scores - Safety -lack of supervision - Subpar playground equipment. - Budget cuts Explore the scope of the problem: - About 11 percent of states and 57 percent of districts require elementary schools to provide students with regularly scheduled recess, -79 percent of elementary schools in the CDC survey said they provided daily recess. In 2000, it was 71 percent. -Jarrett maintains that recess has benefits over gym class. "With recess, children have choices and can organize their own games, figure out what's fair, and learn a lot of social behavior that they don't learn in P.E.," she says. - taking away recess for those who have received bad grades - Play structures can cost upwards of $150,000 1981, kids ages 6 to 12 had about 57 hours of free time per week. - By 2003, kids had only 48 hours in which to choose their own activities. Time spent outdoors was especially hard-hit. http://www.livescience.com/15555-schools-cut-recess-learning-suffers.html 4. Schools are having more budget cuts while educational expectations are on the rise.

By Jaimie Mclean


Discuss the background of the issue/problem: Education has been a central feature of America since the Colonial Era when the first American colonies were established. As early as the 17th Century, education has been a mandatory obligation for attendance and provided facilities. As time passed the stressed importance and availability of education became more common and the discussion of how much time should be spent in the classroom has been debated by local and national governments ever since. Laws have been passed requiring integration of both the races and the sexes, funding and regulation by both the Federal and State governments are common, and methods of testing have come and gone. With globalization, the competition of industries, governments, and education between nations has increased the pressure on all citizens. However, the most pressure has been placed on the field of education because they are providing the employees, innovators, and future business leaders. The debate about how much time should be spent in the classroom at all levels of education has become the feature of debate on a national and global scale. As the United States continues to drop on the worldwide scale of test scores the pressure has increased exponentially. And so, the debate about classroom time vs. free time has come to the crux: should schools eliminate or reduce recess in order to provide more time in the classroom and thus increase test scores?

Identify the factors that contribute to cause and/or intensify the problem: “The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is highly respected across the globe, and enables politicians and policy-makers to assess how different countries education systems compare” (http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-mathsscience-reading). The published results from organizations like PISA have direct affect on how politicians regulate spending, testing, and other national policies. As the United States continues to drop in these international rankings, the pressure on schools and politicians to make changes increases. The need for education stems from the both the job market, but also from proven results that education increases a country and person’s life and well being in an exponential manner and in all facets of life. In the United States, like many other nations, the continued budget woes from a lagging economy among other things, has caused a financial strain on all fronts. The availability of funds is slim and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to the financial shortages. If anything, schools across the nation are facing budget cuts year after year, but with a demand for higher performance. In order to balance that need, the proposal to increase class time by decreasing or eliminating recess makes logical sense from a purely financial stance (when recess is seen as play and not learning).

Explore the scope of the problem: Is learning restricted to the classroom, or are there other venues of learning that are as effective (if not more effective) than time spent in class? A recent study found that between the years of 2001 and 2007, 20% of schools in the United States reduced recess time as a direct result of the federal regulations passed as part of No Child Left


Behind. This same study found that schools in areas of poverty, high-minority schools, and urban skills have eliminated recess as early as the 1st grade due to a lack of funds and classroom time requirements (http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Organizing-a-school/Timeout-Is-recess-in-danger). The National Center on Time and Learning, supported and propagated by President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, propose not only eliminating recess but also increasing the school year into (and possibly throughout) the summer as a way to increase learning. They are pushing for these policies on local, state, and national levels.

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Ramifications of the Problem By Darrell Waller Ramifications to Problem 1 “Helicopter Parents” are the parents who watch out for every problem or hard time their child is going to go through and when a problem comes along they swoop in to fix the problem before the child can fix it. Parents who are over protective never allow their kids to really learn the lessons of life. This means this children do not know how to deal with a difficult class mate or teach, a hard day at practice with the coach, and a bad grade on a test. Parents who pressure their children’s school to get rid of recess are taking away their child’s chance to learn life lessons. Without a child having failure in their life they never learn to develop problem solving skills in life and rely on their parents for everything. Ramifications to problem 2 With budget cuts and tight money, schools are worried about legal action when kids get hurt at school. In Port Washington, NY Weber school officials are worried about children getting hurt at recess, so they have banned footballs, baseballs, and lacrosse balls. Cart wheels and games of tag have to be monitored by a coach. Schools worried about legal action. “Recess has been an easy target for school administrators who are afraid of lawsuits over playground accidents and who feel pressured to improve academic performance by adding more instruction time.” Ramifications for problem 3 Parents are always thinking their child can learn more than other kids because children progress at different rates. However learning harder things earlier could hurt children who do not learn as fast as others and feeling like they are failing. Not all children are at the same level and have learned the same things, expecting more out of them can cause them to feel they are a failure.


Primary education expert Jean Gross says, “It is much more important for children to learn the skills of speaking, writing, and managing their feelings that trying to absorb facts in school.”

By Asia Starr The elimination is of recess is like a horrible cycle of the teacher are trying to get their students to lean more but in the process are making the wrong chooses on how to put more information in. they start eliminating recess to see results of more learning but in turn it makes it harder for them to be able to learn what they need to. Recess helps children to: - Build social relationships - Are less fidgety and more on task - Have improved memory and more focused attention - Develop more brain connections - Learn negotiation skills - Exercise leadership, teach games, take turns, and learn to resolve conflicts - Are more physically active before and after school

By Jaimie Mclean While the need to address the financial crisis in education is necessary, eliminating recess is the worst possible solution. Study after study proves that even reducing the amount of time playing at recess will have long lasting detrimental effects on both the children and society as a whole. A reduction in recess/play leads to: -

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An increased rate of mental disorders, including ADHD, ADD, clinical depression, anxiety, and suicide. o Explanation of the science o Statistics o Examples An increase in social dysfunction: free, unstructured play is where children learn creativity, problem solving, sharing, self-control, and how to get along with their peers. o Why play fosters this social development better than adult structured activities. A decline in abilities to think creatively, critically, and innovatively. o How the brain develops the areas of creativity, sensory processing, critical thinking, etc. A decrease in children’s ability to control their emotions o The mental and emotional stress placed on children as young as preschool age children is greater than ever before: the science behind over-stimulation and development and how play reduces the stress on the mind and allows the mind and body to recover for greater learning. A decrease in a child’s ability to process information and effectively use the prefrontal


cortex. o As the frontal cortex in the brain is constantly stimulated (specifically through electronics), it becomes over stimulated and the neural connections to the frontal cortex where contextual information is processed disappear due to synaptic pruning. This has a direct affect on the brains ability to think contextually (the prefrontal cortex only processes literally), process cause and effect, and linear thought (both of time and manner). Perhaps a better way to approach this is through the development of these systems in the brain and comparing the differences of development through play and classroom time: emotion control, sensory integration, hemispherical and lateral neural integration and communication, and information processing.

Interview with expert By Darrell Waller Darrell Waller Interview 11/27/2013 Topic: The Development of Children when recess is replaced with Technology Interviewer: Darrell Waller Interviewee: Taylor Smith School: Papago school, 2013 N. 36th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008 School District: Creighton School District Grade: Kindergarten Years as Teacher: First year Questions Do you see a benefit to recess? “Yes! It is so hard on rainy days when we can’t let the kids go outside. They are crazy and they can’t focus, plus they are just wild.” We try to give them computers to play with or games to play with, but it doesn’t work, they need to get out and just move around.” Do you think that children need a break between learning?


“We have mandatory re-teach and review everyday for 15 minutes where they go over old material again; however I always take the kids out to play because they need it.” Do you think Children today are required to learn more than before? “Yes, since the comm. Core that has started there are new standards now for everyone, so we have to teach to these standards to get the children ready for college.” Do you notice higher standards for teachers while the budget for the school is going down? “Yes, we have a long school day; it goes from 7:30am to 3pm. We have a snack time and a lunch period too. They have a mandatory recess after lunch for 20 minutes. However, the new standards under the Obama administration have given us more to teach and we are not getting more funding. Do you know what a helicopter parent is? “Yes, you only find them the more affluent areas because the parents expect more. However at my school the population is mostly Hispanic and the parents are very respectful of the teachers and listen to what we say.” Do you have any experience with helicopter parents? “No, since I work with children from a lower income area the parents generally respect me and or use me for a babysitter so they don’t ever try to hover over their children.” Does your school ever worry about lawsuits regarding recess and children getting hurt? “No, they really don’t worry about that.”

Proposed solution to the problem By Darrell Waller Solution 1: Education Show parents the facts about physical health and learning. 

Use statistics to show parents kids score higher on tests with a break between learning and physical activity.


Have teachers share their personal stories of children focusing better after they have had physical time.

Show parents they even adults need breaks from learning so children would too.

Explain to parents the epidemic of overweight children in this country. 

Show parents the weight difference of children when they were going to school and the weight of children today.

Show parents the nutrition level of the food being served in the cafeteria.

Explain how exercise is not happening at home and therefore needs to happen at school.

Explain how exercise will lower weight of the children since they will be healthier.

Outline Recess plan 

Show parents how the recess would work, outline the amount of time children will have and the activities the children will be involved in.

Show the certain activities teach children different life skills.

Explain that certain activities do have risk involved but the school has eliminated most of the risk.

Allow parents to pout in their input on how they would want their child to spend his or her recess time.

Solution 2: Free Time Allow children free time to do with what they please. 

Explain to parents the benefits of Children being allowed time between learning.

Show the data to prove that in order for the brain to learn there must be a time between studying.

Have professionals speak on the matter of allowing the brain time to learn.


Parents are allowed to regulate free time. 

Since parents want to hover over their children allow them to pick out what their child does during free time.

Explain to the parents that there will be free time every day and their child can decide what they choose to do with their free time.

Allow parents the opinion of knowing every week what their child has been doing for his or her free time.

Show the parents before and after data of how their child is improving with free time.

Solution 3: Recess Beta Propose a trial time to prove Recess to the parents 

Get approval from parents to try out recess.

Allow the parents with a chance to set some of the parameters so they are involved.

Make the experience fun for the parents and children.

By Asia Starr First solution: make recess mandatory part of public school -

Recess would help brain development Exercise helps with memory Healthy part of child development Are less fidgety and more on task Have improved memory and more focused attention Develop more brain connections Learn negotiation skills Exercise leadership, teach games, take turns, and learn to resolve conflicts Are more physically active before and after school Teachers tend to find their students more capable to learn, when they participate in recess

Weakness- takes up time and schools in the city may have troubles finding space. Also cost money to build play stations. Second solution: structured recess- have teachers plan activities for the children.


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Teachers have more control over what is happening Less bulling Watching the children more closely to avoid inquiry

Weakness- there is less room for creativity and social problem solving. Third solution. Recess at the beginning of the day. Get their energy out at the beginning of the day. -

Get blood pumping to the head Be ready for class Will help them be on task Does not interrupt the class

Weakness: children may get fidgety through half of the day.

By Jaimie Mclean First Solution: Physical activity and creativity increases mental clarity and retention. Clarify: Recess provides the opportunity for both physical activity and creativity - Science behind recess/breaks and the brain in retention/mental clarity - Detail opportunities for creativity at recess Implementation: Increase the frequency and duration of recess - Research detailing frequency and duration in recess = successful breaks. - Examples and personal experiences (from parents, teachers, etc) Projected benefits to 1-Students, 2-Educators, 3-Tax payers -

Increased clarity and retention = higher test scores and a more enjoyable learning experience - Educators also receive a break and are able to utilize classroom time more effectively - Less money spent in new program development, longer school days, longer school years, etc = cheaper solution to higher test scores. Weaknesses: Bullying, adverse weather, and injuries.

Second Solution: Recess plays a vital role in improving mental, emotional, and physical health of children. Clarify: Increased use of technology and electronics has contributed to the overall health decline of western populations, obesity, age-related illnesses at younger ages, decreased mental health, etc. - Define mental, physical, and emotional health - Health statistics in each of the major health concern areas


Implementation: Increase the frequency and duration of recess - Research describing how play improves mental health and development - Research describing how play improves emotional health and development - Research describing how recess improves physical health Projected benefits: Long term and short term potential benefits of increased recess in terms of health and development -

Physical health, including disease prevention Mental/Emotional health, including stress management, relief, and other emotional key indicators. Weaknesses: Potential for emotional damage through bullying, physical injury, exposed to toxins in the air, and the potential for a lack of stimulating activities for children of all ages, abilities, and interests.

Third Solution: Recess/play contributes to brain development Clarify: Brain development – integration, sensory processing, hemispherical integration, synaptic pruning, etc. Define: The different terms and explain how they are developed Implementation: Allowing more unstructured play through recess allows time for neurological developments to occur, refine, and develop fully. - Research behind play and hemispherical communication - Research behind sensory processing and integration - Research behind linear thought development and the “linear� use of the brain Projected benefits: More fully developed neurological connections, functions, and plasticity. -

Avoiding over stimulation of the pre-frontal cortex o Explain - More creative, a greater ability to problem solve, retain information, etc. - A greater ability to sit in class and avoiding mental disorders such as ADD, ADHD due to 1-over stimulation 2- a lack of sensory stimulation and integration Weaknesses: One could argue that similar results could be obtained through other mediums, downplay the role of sensory integration, or argue that technology can substitute for some neurological development (However, most of those arguments are lacking sufficient scientific research and are simply propagated by certain political groups and persons).


Appendix Jaimie’s Sources (http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading) (http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Organizing-a-school/Time-out-Is-recess-in-danger)

Darrell’s sources “A Generation Tethered to their Helicopter Parents” Aspen Education Group. 2011 <http://aspeneducation.crchealth.com/articles/article-helicopter-parents/> Lisa Blau. “How Helicopter Parents Affect their Children” Global Post. 2013 <http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/helicopter-parents-affect-children-1946.html> Joy Resmovits. “Teachers Survey Shows Record Low Job Satisfaction In 2012”. Huffington Post. 02/21/2013. < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/teacher-survey-job-satisfaction2012_n_2729062.html> Dean D. Jodie “School bans balls, tag, Cartwheels lest someone gets hurt” Moonbattery. Oct 2013 < http://moonbattery.com/?p=37720> “Do you think your child is expected to learn more or less than you were at the same age?” School Family. 2013 <http://www.schoolfamily.com/poll-results-page/15-expected-to-learn> Hannah Richardson. “What can five-year-olds be expected to learn?” BBC News. July 2013 < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23226339> “Papago School” 2013 <http://papago.creightonschools.org/> -source for the interview

Asia’s Sources http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-03/local/41712186_1_playworks-recess-d-c-schools http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/recess-makes-kids-smarter http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/The_Benefits_of_Recess_in_Primary_School


Team Members Bios Darrell Waller- Writer 1: I am Darrell Waller. I live in Tempe, Arizona and I work for Arizona State University. I graduate this semester with a general studies degree and I plan on pursing another degree at ASU. My goal is to be an ENT or an ear, nose, and throat doctor. I'm the youngest in my family and I'm the only one not married and not raising any children. I love motorcycles and working out, I hope to one day look like Hulk. Asia Starr- Writer 2: Asia Anne Starr was born in Salt Lake Utah and was raised in Shawnee, Kansas. In the summer of 2013 she was married to Shane Starr. She is now studding at BYU- Idaho in theatre education. She hopes one day to open her own children s theatre. Jaimie Mclean- Writer 3: I am Jaimie Mclean. I live in Spring Branch, Texas and I am recently married. My parents adopted 11 special needs children and my experiences growing up in that household has greatly influenced who I am today. Throughout the years of my education, I have attended public school, private school, a charter school, and I was homeschooled. I will complete my bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in December 2013 with a double major in History and German with a minor in Exercise Physiology. I currently work as an in home aid for families with special needs children and help teach parent training in the foster care program in my area. Samuel Wilson Smith- Editor: I am Samuel Wilson Smith. I live in Lovell, Wyoming and I am the middle child of 5, all boys. I earned my High School diploma at Lovell High School in May of 2008 and earned my associate's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwest College in May of 2011. I'm hoping to complete my University Studies major with a minor in Communications in April or July of 2014. I'm currently working in Lovell as a sports writer for the local newspaper and a high school commentator for the local high school sports teams in the area.

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