Sunday, January 21, 2007

On banning tag:

Recently there was a story on WBUR's Here and Now about schools in Massachusetts banning tag at recess because it caused so much conflict among students.

Click on the link below to listen to the story.

Tag has been around for as long as anyone can remember and never had to be banned before. I think the problem today lies not with the game but with the schools and parents who provide only organized, supervised activities.

I am a 2nd Grade Teacher in the Boston Public Schools (currently on maternity leave). Unfortunately schools today are (under extreme pressure from the government) pushing harder and harder on academics with the youngest kids at the expense of free play. From my teacher education in child development I know that free play is how children learn to set and follow rules, to be fair, to treat others as they wish to be treated-- literally how to get along. There's no better way to teach them than through play since they learn by their own experience in a context that matters to them. In fact there may be no other way. When kids miss opportunities for free play in their pre-school, kindergarten and elementary years, they can become the agressive, "hyper" bullies who are causing schools to ban tag.

Here & Now Story : "Schoolyard Game Banned" 10/20/2006

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