Building a Better Brain

A dwindling recess time is a reality for countless teachers around the country. In an effort to pack more academics into the day, districts are decreasing and, in some cases, eliminating time outside for students of all ages.  In other cases, if recess still exists, teachers are being given lesson plans to complete with children during their recess period. We find prodigious research opposing these mandates to reduce free play.

Last summer, NPR featured this story on brain development and play. Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, says:

“The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain … without play experience, those neurons aren’t changed … so play is what prepares a young brain for life, love and even schoolwork.”

The simple take-away is the less free play and recess, the less brain development; the more free play and recess, the more brain development.

Read the full article at the link below and share your thoughts with us.

Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/08/06/336361277/scientists-say-childs-play-helps-build-a-better-brain

Authored by Jordan Khadam-Hir, Rice University School Literacy and Culture

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