The bell rang, but the campus that should have been lively was still quiet. Children are not allowed to go outside for ten minutes between classes. They are not allowed to leave the classroom except to go to the bathroom. They can only fetch water during the fixed break period. They are even not allowed to speak loudly in the classroom. Recently, the “primary and middle school classes” have been common in many places. The phenomenon of “in captivity” has become a hot search topic and has resonated with many parents and students.
This is not a new topic. As early as more than ten years ago, the media repeatedly paid attention to the “ten minutes of silence between classes” and called for “it’s okay to let the children go crazy for a while.” Recently, the relevant person in charge of the Ministry of Education stated that the “Regulations on the Protection of Minors in Schools” previously adopted by the Ministry of Education clearly requires that no restrictions be placed on students’ freedom of speech and behavior such as legitimate communication, games, and activities outside the classroom during recess and other non-teaching time. necessary constraints. In actual work, primary and secondary schools are required to arrange 30 minutes of physical activities between classes every day, and students should be arranged to go out of the classroom for appropriate activities and relaxation during each class break. What is thought-provoking is that despite both calls and policies, why has “recess confinement” still been a difficult problem that plagues schools, parents and students after such a long time?
Almost everyone understands that “recess confinement” cannot raise healthy and happy children, but why can’t they get out of this “strange circle” for so long? Behind “Ten Minutes of Silence”, what are the school’s concerns, what are the parents’ demands, and what are the children’s inner expectations? How to solve the problem as much as possible and give the children a happy ten minutes between classes?
1. Pay attention to the educational value of ten minutes between classes and leave appropriate space for campus life
For many adults, the ten minutes between classes is a wonderful memory. Or breathe fresh air outside the teaching building, or move freely on the playground, or laugh and chat with classmates… Not only can you move your muscles and adjust your body and mind, but you can also concentrate on preparing for the next class. But such a happy recess life has now disappeared in the lives of many children.
“After finishing the preparation before class, the teacher only allowed me to drink water and use the toilet. I was not allowed to go downstairs at will, and I was not allowed to whisper to each other. When I was really bored, I would either be in a daze or imagine two villains fighting in my mind.” A person from Beijing Chengcheng, a third grade primary school student said.
“‘Be quiet when you enter the class, learn when you are seated’, every child in the school will recite this sentence. Even if he talks to other classmates when going to the toilet during class, points will be deducted if he is discovered.” Yang, a parent of a primary school student in Beijing The woman told reporters that such strict regulations are “simply a torture” for her 8-year-old, lively and active son.
On social platforms, parents’ descriptions of the “ten minutes of silent recess” are even more diverse: one child cried out “coccyx pain” because of sitting for a long time at school; “It’s not even enough time to go to the toilet”; there are even schools that specify the scope, type, and sound volume of activities within ten minutes between classes, and also stipulate the supervisory responsibilities of the class teacher and link them to class deductions and penalties…
“Abandoning food due to choking in the name of safety” and “lazy education policy”… For a time, everyone was targeting the school. In the face of accusations, many schools said they were also suffering.
“There are two periods of time that I worry about most every day: one is during the recess, and the other is when I leave school. All the teachers in the school are ‘ready for it.'” A primary school principal in Shenzhen told reporters, “Once an accident occurs, it will be unreasonable to encounter it again.” parents, the school will be very passive.”
His worries are not unfounded. According to reports, of the 29 campus personal injury cases heard by a local court in recent years, 91% occurred during recess or after school, and 86% occurred on the playground and classroom. Judging from the judgment results, about 50% of the schools were found to bear more than 30% of the responsibility. The reasons were mostly due to “inadequate school education and management, failure to eliminate safety hazards and failure to provide timely assistance.”
It is against this background that teachers are afraid of getting into trouble and schools are afraid of causing trouble. It is easiest to “confine” children in the classroom. “Recess confinement” has become the first choice of many schools. Under this kind of over-protection “in the name of safety”, children not only lose ten minutes of happiness, but also many shortcomings that are not conducive to their growth and development are highlighted.
The infrastructure of some schools is far from meeting the needs of students between classes, but it is ignored. “Just a few months after starting school, my 7-year-old daughter got urethritis. When I asked carefully, I found that there were too few toilets, and I had to queue up in a long line every time I went to class. The child simply didn’t drink water all day long,” a parent reported.
Some schools have added layers of emphasis on “recess confinement”, which has actually increased children’s learning burden: for example, they have invented the “small preparation” system, which means that the preparation bell is rung three minutes before the official bell rings. , students need to go back to their seats immediately to read ancient poems or prepare before class. In this way, they “study for three more minutes”; even, in order to facilitate management, some schools do not even allow students to do independent activities during the 25-minute break, but only organize students After doing group exercises, they were asked to go back to the classroom, and the horizontal bars, parallel bars and other sports equipment on campus were also removed.
“Playing is the nature of children, and it is the way for them to understand and explore the world.” Tian Hongjie, associate professor at the Institute of Children and Children of the China Youth Research Center, believes that it is very important to leave appropriate blank space in campus life. Behind the “brain change”, classes Ten minutes also has a different kind of educational value: “It may seem like just ten minutes, but you can learn about the world, society and others through chatting with your partners, stimulating curiosity and desire to explore; Through ‘gossip’ and ‘complaint’, one can form judgments on the rights and wrongs of events and construct a sense of social rules; in games with friends, one can feel positive emotions such as tacit understanding, connection, and friendship, or sadness, embarrassment, disappointment, anger, etc. Negative emotions, improve emotional intelligence and social interaction skills. These cannot be achieved by pure knowledge learning.”
2. A good recess life should be “colorful, noisy but not chaotic”
As the discussion becomes increasingly heated, Yining in Xinjiang, Taiyuan in Shanxi, Nanning in Guangxi, Zhengzhou in Henan and other places have recently responded to the issue of “recess confinement”: some schools held meetings of all class teachers and emphasized that students should be free on the playground during recess. Some places say that the 10 minutes between classes is relatively short, and students mainly use it to drink water, go to the bathroom, and adjust their status. It is not recommended to engage in strenuous exercise such as running.
The reporter’s investigation found that many teachers and parents interviewed were not satisfied with this response.
“Some classes are far away from the playground or on higher floors. Children may have to go back to the classroom as soon as they arrive at the playground. Latecomers sit in their seats panting, and it takes a long time just to adjust, which greatly affects the learning status of the next class. .” A teacher believes that, like “recess confinement”, the above-mentioned attitude of promising to let children go to the playground to move freely without considering the actual situation, or euphemistically stating that “the status quo is not easy to change” is also a kind of rough management.
A parent in Tianjin told reporters about the practice of his child’s school: several mats were placed in the corridor, and children were asked to go to the corridor in groups to do sit-ups during recess to achieve “staggered and orderly activities and rest.”
“Now that I’m out of the classroom, I can relax my eyes and exercise. But is this a good recess life?” Within a few days, the child complained to him, “After class, we still have to do physical training, so why not just sit on the seat?” “. This parent was very helpless: “It seems that we have taken a step forward and are ‘moving’, but the child feels that even recess has become an ‘organized’ machine.”
In this regard, the person in charge of the above-mentioned Ministry of Education stated that they will resolutely correct the practice of simply restricting students’ necessary breaks and activities on the grounds of “ensuring student safety”; they will guide local governments and schools to scientifically implement management and safety precautions, and strengthen outdoor safety measures. Conduct inspections of facilities and personnel, strengthen safety knowledge education for students, etc.
Relevant experts also believe that only by first guiding families and schools to establish a rational concept of recess activities, and even a deeper concept of rights and responsibilities, can there be room for further discussion on “how to manage the ten-minute recess”.
Wu Zunmin, chief expert on lifelong education at the Institute of Basic Education Reform and Development of East China Normal University and a second-level professor at the Faculty of Education, believes that the change of perspective is crucial: “If you start from a management-oriented perspective, no matter how you prevent it, there will be risks, and parents will still If something goes wrong, just go to the school. The school simply says, “It’s better to do less than to do more.” However, from the perspective of students’ growth, ten minutes between classes is an important part of children’s growth, and children must be allowed to move in a quality way. Homes and schools should realize that bumps in the road are inevitable and need to be more understanding and tolerant.”
On this basis, what still needs to be reached between home and school is: What exactly are good recess activities?
“It is not the most appropriate approach to ‘drive’ children to the playground every recess. What is important is to create a variety of possibilities for children to choose freely and voluntarily. Home and school can combine the specific school environment of the school Wait and work together to come up with an appropriate plan.” Wu Zunmin believes that a good recess life cannot have just one look, but should be colorful, noisy and not chaotic: “There are several basic elements that must be taken into consideration: First, Firstly, children need to get out of their seats to move their bodies, secondly, they need to be in contact with nature to regulate their thoughts, and thirdly, they need free companionship to learn to communicate and cooperate.”
3. Care more and use more ingenuity to create a “breathing campus life”
It is imperative to return ten minutes between classes to the children. The Ministry of Education requires schools to work closely with home-school communities, strive for parents’ understanding and social support, and work together to ensure students’ normal activities during class and promote students’ healthy growth and all-round development.
The interviewees agreed that giving children a safe, scientific and happy ten-minute recess requires home and school to work together, brainstorm and carefully design.
This first requires the continuous improvement of relevant policies and systems to effectively “cover the bottom line” and free schools from the worry of “bearing unlimited liability.”
“On the basis of existing laws and regulations, relevant departments should further refine the laws and regulations related to safety accidents in schools, and more reasonably define the rights and responsibilities of schools and teachers. They cannot expand indefinitely and pursue accountability in a ‘one size fits all’ manner. At the same time, socialized laws and regulations should be improved. Security risk sharing mechanism, for example, introducing commercial insurance and improving the school insurance system.” Tian Hongjie suggested.
Some netizens suggested that “protection and guidance” posts can be set up at points where students are prone to safety risks within ten minutes of recess, so that students’ inappropriate behavior in recess games can be discovered in a timely manner and guided to prevent risks.
“An extra pair of ‘eyes’ means more vitality.” Wu Zunmin also holds the same view: “For example, schools can cooperate with the community to introduce teachers from the ‘Silver Age Plan’ or elderly community volunteers as recess tutors to provide them with Appropriate subsidies will not only avoid increasing the burden on teachers, but also allow the elderly to use their spare talents.”
While ensuring safety, schools also need to be proactive, use more brains and ingenuity to educate students on safety, develop and optimize recess activity spaces, and improve the quality of students’ recess life.
“Letting children ‘move’ during class refers to the flow of life, not violent exercise. If you don’t have time to go to the playground, you can put a tank of goldfish and a few turtles at the corner of the stairs, and a pot of goldfish and turtles on the windowsill of the bathroom. Pots of flowers, or frequently updating some interactive paintings on the walls of the corridor, actively create space for exploration, so that children can feel the vitality of life everywhere.” Wu Zunmin said.
Write a recess game manual for children, create micro-landscapes and activity points inside and outside the classroom, carefully select safe, educational and interesting toys, hold class meetings and jointly formulate a “recess game convention” with students… A primary school in Zhejiang Teacher Qi Chuanpeng treats the ten-minute recess as a project and devotes himself to running it: “Replacing blockage with relaxation, replacing chasing and playing with safe and interesting activities, and ensuring sufficient activity time are beneficial to children’s physical and mental growth.”
“Only a campus life that is relaxed and full of breathing can provide fertile ground for children to grow.” Wu Zunmin believes that this discussion about “ten minutes between classes” may trigger the reconstruction of the entire campus life: “Decades Previously, Principal Duan Lipei of Shanghai Yucai Middle School led a teaching reform of “interspersed large and small classes”: subjects such as Chinese, Mathematics, and English were set up as 50-minute large classes, and subjects such as music, sports, and art were set up as 30-minute small classes, and large and small classes were set up. Interspersed with each other, the original small classes are extended to 15 minutes, which not only ensures the implementation of teaching tasks, but also allows students to learn happily and rhythmically. This kind of patchwork course arrangement is not an attempt. direction.”
Netizens pay attention
Netizens offer tips to break the “ten minutes of silence between classes”
Recently, we launched an online survey on the official Weibo of Guangming Daily on how to break the “ten minutes of silence between classes”. Many netizens left messages, voted, and participated in the discussion. When asked about “what is the problem with confinement during recess?”, 51% of netizens believed that “the educational philosophy is biased and is still in a high-pressure test-taking state”, and 29% of netizens believed that “schools are worried about the safety of children playing during recess.” question”. Netizen “Da Da Da Da Xia’s Trumpet” said: “They are all buildings, and it is very inconvenient to go down to play!” Netizen “Five O’clock Smoke” left a message: “I was kept in captivity when I was a child because some students were playing during recess. Injured, parents become overly assertive and cause trouble.”
When asked “How to break the ten minutes of silence between classes”, “safety and security” was the most important factor among netizens. Among them, 32% of netizens believed that “parents must understand that campus safety risks cannot be eliminated 100%”, 18 % of netizens believe that “a sound insurance mechanism should be established to alleviate concerns about home and school safety.” In addition, 24% of netizens suggested that “school infrastructure should be improved to alleviate phenomena such as queues in toilets between classes.” Netizen “Mao Mao Mao Mao” bluntly said, “What I hate the most is queuing for the restroom between classes. The queue for the women’s restrooms is always at the gate. Why can’t we build more?” 15% of netizens suggested “creating recess activity spaces according to local conditions. Such as graffiti walls, grid jumping areas, etc.” Some netizens left a message: “Strongly call for extending the recess to 15-20 minutes!”