Developmental and Educational Role of Recess in School

Authored by: Pellegrini Anthony , Danielle Dupuis

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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The psychologist interested in peer relations during middle childhood is hard pressed to find a venue to observe naturally occurring peer interactions. One of the few, yet understudied, places that this can be done with relative efficiency is on the school playground during the recess period (Hart, 1993). The recess period is similar to free playtime for preschool children. In both places we have a relatively large sample of children, located in one place, engaging in spontaneous and relatively unstructured peer interactions. Further, in both places children develop and learn important social skills and take a break from the more structured classroom regimens.

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