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TCU Professor’s Research Shows Benefits of Recess

Starpoint PlaygroundRecess works.

That’s the finding of TCU professor Dr. Debbie Rhea’s research on how outdoor breaks can be beneficial to classroom behavior.

The pilot programs involved in Rhea’s LiiNK Project reduced classroom time, including time spent preparing for and taking  standardized tests, and instead added more time for recess.

TCU’s Starpoint was one of the first schools to pilot the program. There have been zero discipline issues, grades are great, students are on task, and students get along better, said Dr. Marilyn Tolbert, director of lab schools at TCU.

Rhea said the results at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth were similar. The results were recently featured on the TODAY Show.

“Let’s Inspire Innovation ‘N Kids,” started in 2012, with small programs at Starpoint and Trinity Valley School, said Rhea, who is also the associate dean of research in the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

The training sessions for the larger programs began in fall 2013 and launched in spring 2014, she said.

Tolbert said Starpoint teachers were hesitant, especially when it came to having enough time to cover their curriculum.

As teachers see the results from the project, their doubts about losing minutes are fading.

“They’re going to lose minutes,” said Rhea. “But in reality…they are doing a whole lot more with a whole lot less time than the kids who are in the other schools.”

Read full story on TCU 360.