A Donkey of a Recess…

8 04 2010

Have the Democrats taken over the playground? Recess Coaches…. More control,  less fights, less freedom, less creativity…. Winnie Hu writes a NY Times article called “Blessing and Curse of Structured Recess” on the possible growing trend of hiring Coaches to guide play and enact discipline on the playground. NPR had a discussion pointing out that it has come to this because kids do not play outside at home but stay on their computers, allowing for a lack of practice in play. Kids used to bring their play culture and creative games at home to school recess, but in our current technological culture, kids seem to need more direction and guidance. I remember enjoying coming up with creative games using whatever we could find on the playground: trees, parking lines, sewage lids, sticks, stones. I’ve even fostered my entrepreneurial skills by collecting quartz and other shiny rocks from the playground thinking they were diamonds and that they would earn me a fortune. Little money, I have now, but it did cultivate my ingenuity. Though not a Republican, I believe that the ideas of the free market economy is beneficial to the growth of character, or at least an adventurous spirit, in children. Children should learn to get dirty and bruised in the mist of their play and imaginative explorations. But more than my complaint of raising pansy children, the education system is getting it wrong by only worrying about behavioral change. It’s always wanting to control change from the outside-in (as opposed to inside-out change).  As long as there are no more conflicts, no more fights to bother the teachers or the parents, everything is fine and dandy. Purely behavioral change is no change at all. Andrew Jackson liked the donkey because it portrayed intellect and bravery, but the donkey is also a jackass because it is resistant to change. Our children, if not given freedom to play and cultivate creativity, will not grow to be ingenious or bold, but rather, wary and recalcitrant. Truly, what a donkey of a recess…




2 responses

8 04 2010
Charlie Fritsch

Nice post, Paul. They took touch football away from us in 3rd grade, recess was never the same. Anyway, this just speaks to the unconstitionality and lack of wisdom in having a government-run public educations system. Public schools are probably the least academically free places in America. Patrolled by the thought police, teachers unions, and liberals, America’s public schools are not only producing pansies, but also intellectually dim, brainwashed fatties. So sad. Anyway, it’s telling how the first thing Obama did when he got in office was to eliminate any funding for school vouchers. He who controls the thoughts of young minds controls the future. Even more sad.

17 09 2010
Bigger Muscles = Bigger Brains?? « Paul Park’s Mental Meanderings

[…] I’ve commented on the current state of education in previous posts, one on structured recess (A Donkey of a Recess…) and the most recent on the pressures of excelling as a youngster (Pressure’s On…). In […]

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