Is withholding recess a useful tactic for getting children to perform well and behave? Rae Pica at BAM! Radio hosted a recent show on the topic after hearing from a parent of a special education student who said her son’s teacher withholds recess for such infractions as not coloring or cutting the right way.
Melinda Bossenmeyer, founder of Peaceful Playgrounds, and Patte Barth of the Center for Public Education argued that the strategy is counterproductive. Bossenmeyer said recess actually helps children focus when they return to the classroom and helps them behave better. She said teachers (and this probably goes for parents, too) should focus on praising and encouraging the positive behavior they want to see, rather than the negative behavior they’re trying to deter.
Barth agreed, and noted that despite the research showing the benefits of recess, many school districts have been trimming it back. Barth said many high minority and high poverty schools have no recess at all. These are the schools that are struggling the most to improve test scores, so it may be understandable that district leaders are pushing for more time to be focused on academics. But our conversation last week suggests that the loss of recess could contribute to their lagging achievement, rather than helping it improve.
It’s always fascinating to hear how other countries handle the education of their littlest learners, and even better to participate in a discussion with top educators on the subject. EarlyStories had a chance to converse on BAm! Radio with Linda Darling-Hammond, the Stanford University researcher and professor, and John R. Burbank, the executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle recently, and learned just how early teacher training and support starts in Finland, and why it is considered so effective.
Darling-Hammond recently wrote “The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future,” an alarming account of current education conditions in the U.S. The book cites Finland, along with Singapore and South Korea, as models of equitable school systems, and on the radio show she describes why they get it right. Darling-Hammond says the success is due in part to the quality of training for teachers in Finalnd, which has a professional, unionized labor force. Finland’s social democratic model provides the same services to all its citizens, Burbank has noted, with early childhood care and education considered a public good.
It was a good starting point to be reminded of the many quality issues surrounding early childhood education in the U.S. and to think about w hat we might do differently.
EarlyStories had a chance to participate in a fascinating radio discussion recently that looked at the role stress plays in the lives of young children and how it impacts their brains and their learning.
Turns out too much of it can lead to learning disabilities and a range of problems. The experts on the BAm!radio broadcast spoke about ways to both prevent and manage stress. Guests included Dr. Regalena Melrose, a school psychologist, Dr. Regina Lamourelle .
You can listen to the show here:
EarlyStories had a chance to take part in a fascinating discussion with top educators recently on the Bam Radio Network, who were asked just how much young children should be allowed to stumble, fall — and yes, fail.
Failure isn’t an easy word for parents or for educators, especially at a time when a push is on to develop higher standards and expectations for all. And too often, educators will describe their mission by using the phrase: “Failure is not an option.”
And yet, failure can be an important way that young children learn and develop self esteem. The radio discussion featured Gina Mollicone Long, an expert on peak performance, and the best-selling author of two books on the topic, along with with Dr. Jim Taylor, who has been recognized for his work in the psychology of performance in business, parenting, and sport and has written widely on the topic.”
The real question, though, is when does failure go too far? What kind of failure do experts think is acceptable and conducive to learning? And how do educators — and parents of young children — distinguish the difference? Listen to the discussion here: