Date of Award
Administrative and Instructional Leadership
Anthony J. Annunziato
Prior studies about school recess focuses primarily on the effects and benefits of recess in the context of elementary education. This study focuses on middle school teachers’ perspectives, practices and knowledge of recess, which were collected using both quantitative and qualitative methods. In this case study, 61 middle school teachers participated in an online survey, seven other middle school teachers provided additional insight through a focus group discussion. Data analysis revealed that middle school teachers perceive recess as beneficial overall, but there are also some concerns. Views about recess at the middle school level were not associated with age, gender, level of education, grade level taught, and child dependent responsibilities. While middle school teachers noted benefits of recess, more than half of the participants indicated that recess was not a topic in their professional preparation. However, more than half of the participants indicated that recess deprivation was a topic of discussion with supervisors. Although the practice of recess deprivation for behavioral or academic reasons has been declining, middle school teachers indicated that it does still occur. The middle school teachers in the sample had very limited knowledge of the current trends in educational polices or scholarship about recess. Findings in this mixed-method, explanatory case study indicate that recess should be a topic of conversation among teachers at the middle school level. This study indicated that middle school teachers do not generally receive professional development about the importance of recess. With the increased burden of standardized testing and ever-growing academic demands, teachers understand that students need self-directed time to make their own choices even as they still employ recess deprivation for behavioral or academic reasons. The importance recess at the middle school level must be realized by aligning teachers’ perspectives, practices and knowledge of recess with evidence-based educational research.
Servidio, Suzanne, "TEACHERS’ PERSPECTIVES, PRACTICES, AND KNOWLEDGE OF RECESS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL: A MIXED METHOD, CASE STUDY" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 76.