I read an amazing article about children in school, and I immediately made the connection that in effect that schools enable and in a way deeply support the inner city gang life that kids and teens often have, in the cities!!
Recess Makes for Better Students, from the washington post.
MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- As a pediatric resident in a hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Romina M. Barros sat in on a regular first-grade class at a local elementary school. Classes started at 8:30 in the morning, lasting till noon, with one 10-minute break during which children were not allowed to talk or move from their chairs.
"It was winter, and I thought maybe they didn't go outside because of the weather," said Barros, now an assistant professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Children's Hospital in New York City. "I had a headache."
In fact, the children always had one 10-minute break but were not allowed to talk and had to stay in their chairs. There was nowhere for the kids to go outside and play, the teacher explained.
Barros has now published a study in the February issue of Pediatrics documenting the value of recess: Children who have it during the day behave better in class.
"When we restructure our education system, we have to think that recess should be part of the education system, and if we have to get more help, we'll have to get more help," Barros said. "Even if we don't have space, if they could have 15 minutes indoors. Unstructured time, that's all that they need."
Children learn as much on breaks as they do in the traditional classroom, experimenting with creativity and imagination and learning how to interact socially.
"Conflict resolution is solved on the playground, not in the classroom," said Dr. Jane Ripperger-Suhler, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science and pediatrics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a psychiatrist with Scott & White Mental Health Center, in Temple.
Recess is recommended at least once a day, for 20 or more minutes. Physical activity should also be part of this time. Most Asian elementary schools allow children a 10-minute break after every 40 minutes to 50 minutes of instruction, the authors stated.
Although it's unclear how much recess children in the United States are getting, some studies have documented a dramatic decrease, and this study reported that the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has resulted in less recess for many children.
"They started to find out that kids in the U.S. were not doing well compared to other countries and started penalizing schools when kids weren't passing the state test," Barros explained. "That's when schools [started to cut recess] not only because of space, but also because they wanted to put more in academics."
Barros and her colleagues looked at a national database of about 11,000 8- and 9-year-olds. Children had one of two levels of recess: none/minimal (1 to 15 minutes/day) or "some recess." The population was divided equally between boys and girls.
Kids with more recess behaved better in school, according to a teacher rating system.
The 30 percent of children who had no or only minimal breaks were more likely to be black, from households with lower incomes and lower education levels, to be living in the Northeast or South, and to be attending urban public school.
"The kids who are already disadvantaged in a number of different ways are getting further disadvantaged," said Ripperger-Suhler.
Almost two-thirds of this disadvantaged group had physical activity only twice a week or less, putting them at greater risk of becoming obese.
"Children are receiving less than the recommended time or opportunity to engage in physical activity each day and this is especially true for lower income, ethnic minorities," said Josh Langberg, an assistant professor of pediatrics for the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "There are some significant limitations of this study that make conclusions about the relationship about kids getting recess on their behavior difficult to make . . . this highlights the importance of further research evaluating does this indeed impact child behavior or does it impact learning."
what I originally read was even the deeper: that recess and kids interacting, in the
free times in school, develop social skills and imaginations.
the idea today is a "brain in a box", all verbal thinkings, only. have the kids never ever dirty their hands and have no social skills.
do not the schools SEE the connections, that the only way an inner city kid can get socialization and interactions with their age group, especially in inner cities where the playgrounds are bad and their might be no good family life at all...
is to JOIN A GANG!!
any gang. no matter how violent and no matter if it leads to a life of jail time as jail time has much much more "socialization' than what the schools are supporting!
I would now urge any inner city kid, black or white, to join a gang and have their gang be their social life.
what the schools *MUST* do, in my own way of doing things, is to devote 80%
of the school time to socialization and to physical activities! group physical activities. only about 10%, or LESS, to "reading writing arithmetic"!
what good is the 3Rs? they will get you maybe a cubicle with a computer and
an early heart attack. do we all need to be educated in reading and math?!
most of the world would say "absolutely not"!
there is a very rural county next door to my home of Tallahassee, where the schools regularly score a "D" on the rankings, and often an "F"!
but i wonder: not many years ago, there, a 3rd grade education was Far Far more than one needed, what counted in life was, "family, church going, and most of all, who Loved you and who did you love"?!
what is more important? a good mind with no heart and social skills, or having 30 friends and a close knit community of friends and relatives, and barely being able to read at all?! to work with your hands all day and be outdoors maybe?
thus in some cities the gangs are the only thing that fits the Need, thus I would highly recommend turning the gangs to GOOD, like of the boy scout ideas, then REQUIRE all boys to join one gang, at least!