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Opinion: Forget Standing or Pedal Desks. Kids Need Recess.

Last month, a local newspaper reported on how Owensboro Public Schools in Kentucky is switching from the traditional desk to standing and pedal desks to ensure young children get their needed exercise.

Schools throughout the district received thousands of dollars in grants to help with the installation of the non-traditional desks.

"At Sutton Elementary School, Gina Davis was awarded $25,000 to replace her classroom's traditional worktables with standing desks,” said Lex18, while “[a]t Estes Elementary School, kindergarten teacher Faith Harralson won a $12,000 grant from the school system to install 'pedal desks…”

Teachers and students praised the non-traditional desks to Lex18, saying that standing and moving while working helps students remain alert and achieve better.

Writer and parent Maria Guido isn’t as excited about the new trend of desks as others might be, however. Guido sees the new emphasis on the non-traditional desks as a shoddy solution to an over-arching problem in our country’s current education system: kids aren’t getting enough playtime.

“...we need to focus on the real problem: that the 20 minutes of recess our kids are being allotted is not enough,” she said in a post for ScaryMommy.com.

"They’re restless for a reason. They’re not being given enough unstructured time at school to run around and burn off energy. We don’t need to be looking for ‘solutions' for restless kids: we need to let them out of the classroom again.”

Kids, she says, need to be able to take both a physical and a mental break from the “microscope of teacher instruction” to "interact with each other organically.”

Standing or pedal desks, while getting kids moving, doesn’t address the mental aspect of getting breaks.

"If these desks are in addition to and expanded recess time, great. But we shouldn’t be looking to things like this as a solution. They’re not,” Guido says. She’s not alone in her concern:

 

 

 

 

Others, however, are optimistic about the non-traditional desks:

 

 

 

Education World would like to know: Should non-traditional desks be forgotten about until recess can be restored? Weigh-in by taking our poll or commenting below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/3/2016

Should non-traditional desks be forgotten about until recess can be restored?

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