||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the English-speaking world and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2011)|
Recess is a general term for a period of time in which a group of people is temporarily dismissed from its duties. In parliamentary procedure, a recess is initiated by a motion to recess. it is required that very children who attends school must have this break or recess. if the school does not have a recess,break that is against the law. It was invented by Bronson Alcott, who wanted his students to have active physical play and time to talk.
In education, recess is the American term (known as "lunch" or "break" in the UK and Ireland, also known as recess in Australia and Canada where it is a much smaller break period where students have a mid morning snack and play before having lunch after a few more lessons, or "interval" or "morning tea" in New Zealand) for a daily period, typically ten to thirty minutes, in elementary school where students are allowed to leave the school's interior to enter its adjacent outdoor playground, where they can play on recreational equipment, such as seesaws and swing sets, or engage in activities such as basketball, dodgeball, or four square. Many middle schools also offer recess in an effort to provide students with a sufficient opportunity to consume quick snacks, communicate with their peers, visit the restroom, study, and/or other various activities.
Importance of play in child development
Although no formal education exists during recess, sociologists and psychologists consider recess an integral portion of child development, to teach them the importance of social skills and physical education. Play is essential for children to develop not only their physical abilities, but also their intellectual, social, and moral capabilities. Via play, children are able to learn about the world around them. By role playing, children are able to experience, and gain insight on, a socio-emotional level. Psychomotor learning also gives children clues on how the world around them works as they can physically demonstrate such skills. Children need the freedom to play in order to learn skills necessary to become competent adults such as coping with stress and problem solving. Through the means of caregiver's observations of children’s play, one is able to identify deficiencies in children’s development.
If the weather is bad, recess may be held indoors, in the classroom, where the students finish work, play board games or other activities that take more than one to play. This helps encourage group activity and some of the games are also educational. Or, they might play educational computer games or read books. It also may help to do something non-educational, to help unwind and de-stress from the daily workload.
The innate expression of play is born with us and grows with us as we age from our toddler years to our college years. Take a step back and you will see that play is natural and fun. It is natural, and it is something people just do. You will find that children play in many different ways and for many reasons. It is connected to development, emotions, motivation, cognition, socialization, culture, and learning. In today’s modern age play is organized for many people to enjoy either inside or outside. Play is learning for life and children learn through play, especially outside with friends or with fun activities. The outdoors is the perfect place to promote a child’s free play, get exercise and feel good.
Data suggests that students who lack opportunities for play do not grow into happy, well adjusted adults, and, although schools are now focusing their attention on the test scores while eliminating recess/physical education, studies show that recess and/or P.E. actually increase test scores as the students produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and problem solving.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends unstructured physical play as a developmentally crucial means of decreasing stress. More importantly, research shows that increased levels of stress have a negative impact on learning and health. This data coupled with research that suggests that recess can help develop the social skills in children is alarming a growing number of parents, educators, and psychologists, because the amount of time for recess is decreasing. They worry that the children will not have the proper chance to play. Instead, young students are bogged down with test preparation, homework requirements, and demanding out-of-school schedules. The demands placed on the youth has an impact on the amount of time allotted to them to play and exercise. In addition, negative health issues have been associated with children that do not receive the proper amount of exercise and play. For this reason, researchers have been grappling with the problem of incorporating more play time in school. Research shows that 30% of the school day is taken up by routine classroom management activities, such as, lining up, or putting materials away. In turn, the class room management time may take crucial time away from recess. This lack of free and undirected play during recess may contribute to the rise in childhood obesity, anxiety and depression among children, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes are also a major concern as the United States youth do not get the physical outlet needed not only for their cognitive development but for their physical health.
Another important aspect of recess to consider is what time of day it should be implemented. Research suggests that having recess before lunch can improve the nutrition and behavior of elementary students. The traditional placement of lunch before recess, coupled with the recent decline in overall recess time, forces children to make a decision between food and exercise. For this reason, the Recess Before Lunch (RBL) movement was founded in 2002. RBL was established and organized in the Montana Office of Public Instruction when a health team started a year-long pilot to study four schools that decided to make the switch. The results from the study show that the students had increased hunger after recess and therefore ate more food for lunch. In addition, there were other benefits, such as improved behavior in the classroom. Following the study, RBL began to spread there findings to administrators statewide, and by 2003, they had published, "Recess Before Lunch: A Guide for Success." By 2011, almost 40% of Montana's elementary schools implemented recess before lunch. 
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, high school students traditionally do not have 'free periods' but do have 'break' which normally occurs just after their second lesson of the day (normally referred to as second period). This generally lasts for around 20 minutes. During break, snacks are sometimes sold in the school's canteen and students normally use this time to socialize or finish off any homework or schoolwork that needs to be finished. Once break is finished, students go to their next classroom. Lunchtime commences one or two lessons later and usually lasts around 45–60 minutes. This system is more or less the same in junior schools in the UK and Ireland, but infant schools will normally add another break time towards the end of the day. In the UK recess or a break is mandatory at all levels of education. A European study has reported that children spend between 30–105 minutes of recess per day in European schools.
In Australia, New Zealand, and Canada "recess" is generally a break between morning and mid-morning classes. It is followed after mid-morning classes by a more lengthy break, lunchtime. Thus, the structure of the school-day consists of three lesson blocks, broken up by two intervals: recess and lunch respectively.There must be at least an hours worth of "recess" or "free period" a week. In Queensland, the short morning break is generally referred to as "first break" and the longer lunchtime break as "second break", it may vary between trends at different schools, but is majorly the same.
The difference in the overall length of US and Japanese school days is due almost entirely to the increased amount of time Japanese school children spend in recess. The average school day in Japan is eight hours but the time in the classroom is no different compared to the U.S. but the time spent out of the classroom is what makes the day longer. A fourth of the day is spent in non-academic activities. A typical day contains the same amount of instructional time as the kids in the U.S. but a long enough lunch break to go home and eat with their family. This gives the students time to soak in their morning lesson and prepare for the afternoon session. Students who do not go home, read for the their pleasure or interact with other students. When the school day is over the majority of the students do not go home, but rather stay after school for clubs and other activities. The benefits of having a longer break and several non-academic clubs after school, is that the students interact with one another and tend to have fewer physical symptoms related to stress, as well as better relationships with their classmates.
Some schools in Beijing, China allow children to spend an hour or two to socialize or to step out of the classroom per day. Some schools do not have a dedicated recess period, instead allowing a ten-minute break per class session. For lunch, students either pack or buy from the school's lunch area. After lunch time there is a quiet period. During this period, children may read at their desks or play by themselves. Meanwhile a few students are chosen to help clean up from lunch, which may be perceived as a coveted assignment. Schools implementing a no-recess policy may not even have a playground, while schools allowing recess may have multiple playgrounds or basketball courts. 
Finland students rank near the top in terms of academic testing and knowledge, and there students receive over an hour of recess everyday, regardless of the weather. Finland schools consider recess to be an essential part of the school day, and this element of their curriculum is attracting international attention. Finland has utilized research from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences into their curriculum that suggest a positive correlation between exercise and academic performance.
In North America, the point where recess ends in a child's education is largely dependent on the school district, though by many standards it is removed when the child enters middle school. However, in college, students usually have free periods, which are similar in spirit, although usually one studies or talks with one's friends during such times rather than playing games, which are made difficult by the lack of a playground.
With the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, many schools have significantly cut back on the amount of recess time for children, even in preschool. Some have even eliminated recess all together. With the focus now on preparing the children for testing into the next grade, there is less time to incorporate physical education or recess into the curriculum.
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