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“The Recess Debate” Dr. Pellegrini Article Review

The article “The Recess Debate” by Dr. Anthony Pellegrini addresses the controversy revolving around physical education in elementary schools. He mentions studies conducted on multiple aspects of recess and its effect on the classroom and behaviors of children. One of his main points discussed throughout the paper is that the scientific research available on recess has no impact on what policymakers have decided to do regarding their school districts. A quick read with important content. The article discusses the challenges of disjuncture between educational policy and scientific research regarding recess, especially in early childhood (Pellegrini, 2008). It details the potential functions of recess and the importance of providing children with adequate time outside of the classroom. The author explores the issue of recess and concludes that there is a significant “disjuncture” between current educational policy on recess and the overwhelming scientific evidence concerning its value. He cautions that policymakers may be overlooking important guidelines for meaningful classroom time. The findings that suggest how recess currently occurs is not even possible to support several of the previously proposed functions of recess.

The author of this article is strongly adamant that recess should remain a daily activity because benefits far outweigh the negatives regarding learning, health, and social skills. Due to the mounting pressure of new scientific research claiming school children should not be permitted recess, I feel that this article does an outstanding job at refuting these claims resulting in me being far more willing to side with the recess supporters than any opposition towards this issue. The purpose of this paper is to prove the value of recess. I think the writer accomplished his mission by clearly stating scientific facts from various studies and then giving valid reasons why they are invalid. He says, “There is no doubt that recess is a complex phenomenon, composed of a variety of aspects, for example, benefits for motor development and physical fitness; social development and interpersonal relationships; cognitive processes such as creativity and problem-solving.”

Through a review of the scientific research on Recess, I have found the author to be highly credible, relevant and compelling in his arguments. He has substantiated his claims with sound scientific research and valid examples. For example, he states: “. Research has shown that recess is intimately connected to physical development and thus is a necessary dimension of education for school-aged children.” This article argues a disjuncture between the scientific consensus about the best way to teach recess and the educational policies that reflect current trends. The central claim, which I support with an analysis of findings from research studies, is that recess should be treated as an important and necessary component of children’s academic day and physical health.

The idea that originally came to mind when I first read this article was that the relationship between recess and achievement had generated considerable interest in education literature. Still, no research linking recess to effects on classroom behavior has been published. It is an interesting issue. Recess has been called a necessary component of physical and cognitive development, yet to find a significant effect on it would seem to contradict this popular opinion. My initial response to the article did not change after reading it for a second time.

Attending to the way I respond to a source helps me understand my stance on a topic and can strengthen my arguments. Listening to the way I respond to a source allows for greater flexibility in your argument because it does not restrict me from looking at alternative sources that would reinforce your position and make it stronger.

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