Recess

Without doubt, it is one of the most eagerly anticipated moments of the day: the time of a mid-morning break in lessons, when we can go to the playground to eat something, talk with friends or play football. Today it seems that this break is something that has always existed. However, this is not the case, once the thought of leaving a gap in classes designed for students to play was considered revolutionary.

At the start of the nineteenth century (almost 200 years ago) an English teacher called Samuel Wilderspin noticed that his students were tired and not concentrating at the end of the day. Quite rightly, he thought that they needed a break where they could play, socialize, relax and recharge their energy levels.

Furthermore, for Wilderspin this recreation period would also form part of the learning process: the playground was a kind of mini-world in which students where free and teachers could give advice to students about life that was not strictly academic.

In that era, the break was to be seen as an educational and healthy novelty to the school day. And best of all, it proved to be very effective, so other schools in other countries decided to adopt the “invention” of a recess.

So the next time that you go for a break, tell your friends about the genius that invented the best part of the day.


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