Yael: Hey Don, what was your favorite subject in ? Science, right?
Don: I loved science, but my favorite part of was definitely .
Yael: Really? I always thought of you as being a kind of studious kid.
Don: Oh, I was. I loved learning. But was the best. I don't really remember exactly what I learned in third , but I vividly remember running around outside during playtimes. And the thing is, is important for learning. Many studies have shown that taking breaks helps improve and brain . Whether its kids playing during recess or adults taking a coffee break at work, learning happens best when it's broken up into chunks instead of happening over one long, period. Another way to put it is that during learning, the brain needs rests to chemicals important for forming long-term memories.
Yael: OK, but if taking breaks is so important, then why have so many schools shortened or gotten rid of it completely over the past ?
Don: Well, it's not because isn't for learning. Many schools are under to reach standards in math and reading. So administrators often cut recess in order to cram in more and class work. But that goes against the of the scientific that suggest recess helps improve learning. Plus, not surprisingly, free play and physical activity have been shown to be good for kids' , , and physical health.
Yael: So schools should probably increase time, not cut it.
Don: That's true, according to science.