Boys thrive on risk: the importance of play
October 21 2011 by John Stewart, Headmaster
As highlighted in the Sydney Morning Herald article 21 October 2011, and supported by an opinion piece in The Age - and from the many phone calls and emails of support received, we need to promote more challenge and greater opportunity for play. Learning is not just classroom bound test-taking skill and drill. Learning stretches far and wide, especially for boys.
High stake testing has negative side-effects. We start to see the importance of teaching test-taking and 'recall' as more important than creativity, evaluation and synthesis (all higher order thinking skills). Filling in a dot on a multiple choice test is not as much fun as hitting a spot with a mud-ball, riding a bike, or flying a kite! All are lessons.
Having playtime bring with it social clashes should not mean we 'ban' the opportunity. We must see these challenges as authentic lessons for life.
Childhood is a life in itself - not an apprenticeship to work!
Worryingly, we have playtime being reduced. Many research findings are highlighting the issues caused by greater reductions and more pressure from risk and compliance manifestations. Research such as in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2009 is correlating diminishing recess time to an increase in behaviour incidents.
Look at the findings -
Schools cut Recess
Exercise improves academic results
Play is for emotional growth
Importance of Recess
The five secret benefits of Recess
I Failed Recess... because I don't play
Chicago and schools cutting recess
Kentucky: Taking away recess isn't the answer
Focus needs to be on physical activity in primary schools: ABC interview 2003
Benefits of physical exercise on being 'happy' - ABC 2010
Bone development - the importance of physical play on the first two decades...
Better for cognitive understanding - older generation but still relevant and recent! 2011 Science Daily
More academic - Finnish study on decline in physical activity - and this from a country held high as excellence in education!
Be worried - more research highlighting the benefits and the worrying trends. We have to ACT!
NY Times discusses how exercise improves intelligence
Risk needs to be assessed on the loss of a learning opportunity - not just the risk of injury. It is via the challenges of climbing a tree, tackling a friend, falling off a bike that we learn confidence, compassion, persistence, patience and resilience.
Tudor stands up for boys’ learning… no… all kids’!
Character needs people to ‘act’ not ‘react’!
Let's stop schools banning cartwheels, soccer games, marbles and the like. It is not only negative it is detrimental!
- Headmaster's Blog
- Footprints on the journey of life
- Trophyism is Tokenism
- The Fun of Learning - important key to unlocking more
- Catch Up - two of the worst words in learning
- Five Minds for the Future - thoughts from Howard Gardner
- The Academic Report Writing Season - time in; gains out?
- A School’s Ethos is the corner stone of Cultural Intelligence
- The intangibles of true learning - our terroir
- Obesity and calories - the distance you need to go
- Passion, determination, practice and talent
- What do our Children Need for the Future?
- Discipline is to learn
- Playful Engaged Learning
- Good sport is more than winning
- Living our Values - Respect, Responsibility, Relationships
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About Mr John Stewart
For ten years, Mr Stewart taught in the United Kingdom at famous schools, such as Hill House International School in Knightsbridge, London; and St John's College School, Cambridge... Read more
mother of new day boy 2012
"C. is very proud to be part of Tudor house. Thank you and all your staff of making him feel so welcome and happy right from the first day at Tudor."
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