My son is in his first year of school. I guess you'd call it Kindergarten. I was discussing with his teacher at parents evening about his progress,
and she said that despite the kids being in school 6 hours a day, they only do about 45 minutes of learning across the day at this stage, partly
because their attention spans are reasonably short at 4/5 years old, and because it's also about developing skills.
I don't agree with getting rid of recess or playtime at all. When they're so young, recess is just as important as directed learning, it enables
children to mix properly, develop social skills etc.
It not only gives the kids break, but also the teacher. I've no doubt that teaching 20+ kids for hours at a time can be stressful and hard work!
Without giving kids an outlet for that energy they've been building while sitting in class, you've got 20 or more kids who are gradually getting
more and more pent up.
I've certainly noticed it, on days where it's been raining and the kids have been kept in all day, once my little boy gets home, he's a whirlwind!
He has so much energy, I have to put some music on so he can have a mad dance about and burn it off
And for older years, I don't know what you call them in america, but from year 7 onwards, PE shouldn't be only one double period a week.
Personally, I feel this is where schools are failing most. They're so intent on cramming kids heads full of knowledge that, lets face it, they will
use very little of when they are older unless they pursue a career in every single field; that they are neglecting how to teach kids how to look after
Personally, if it was down to me, PE would be three times a week at least, and not just include physical activity but also lessons on how to make good
healthy eating choices, and the science behind weight gain, fat loss, exercise, diseases and illnesses caused by obesity. Exercise shouldn't be
something people decide to do because they're already overweight, it should be something people do to prevent obesity.