The War on Recess

Dickens and the Value of Fun at School 1 of 7

In 1854, Charles Dickens published a novel called ''Hard Times.'' It’s about students taught by fictional English schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind during the Industrial Revolution. He thought that children didn’t need to play or have fun because it didn’t add to the nation’s productivity. Playtime was not quantifiable and therefore had no place in education.

We have learned a lot about the importance of playtime and the development of children since then, but all that research seems to be going by the wayside.

Former superintendent for both the Atlanta and Portland, Oregon public school systems, Benjamin O. Canada, once stated that he was ‘’intent on improving academic performance, and you don’t do that by having kids hang on monkey bars.’’