Having a daily recess break of at least 15 minutes is associated with better ratings by teachers of students’ classroom behavior, says an article published in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers studied a group of more than 10,000 8- and 9-year-old children who were part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, a federally funded research project. They asked teachers to evaluate the classroom behavior of their students.
The study found that students who had at least one break were given better behavior ratings. Longer recess breaks, though, didn’t translate to additional behavior improvements.
The research also showed that students with no or minimal recess breaks were more likely to be black, from families with lower incomes, live in large cities, and to be from the Northeast or the South, compared with children who had regular recess breaks.
The researchers said their findings suggest that recess breaks “may be an important element of classroom management and behavior guidance.”
A version of this article appeared in the February 04, 2009 edition of Education Week