More recess time, please!

Rong Chang, Fanni Coward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article compared the amount of recess time in most U.S. schools – an average of 26 minutes a day, including lunch and snack time – with Shanghai, China. Shanghai China has received top honors across the board in reading, math, and science on the PISA test. Contrary to what many may believe, students in Shanghai, China have ample recess time. For elementary students in Shanghai, the length of recess time is almost 40% of a whole school day. For the middle schools and high schools, the recess is slightly less. Upon close examination, we found that Shanghai schools safeguard recess time as well as learning time for their students. We challenged the conventional wisdom of cutting down recess time as a way to increase academic achievement and argued that recess time can have tremendous benefits for students, and those in the top schools in Shanghai bear out this point.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-17
StatePublished - Nov 2015


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