The Declaration of Learning and Play -- Call to Halt the War on Childhood

The Declaration of Learning and Play -- Call to Halt the War on Childhood

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William Doyle started this petition to U.S. House of Representatives and

THE DECLARATION OF LEARNING AND PLAY -- CALL TO HALT THE WAR ON CHILDHOOD
For children, intellectual and physical play is a critical foundation of learning, healthy development, academic achievement, and life skills.
Play is a fundamental right of the child, in the school, the home, and the community.
A strong scientific and medical consensus confirms that children in school need to play—but politicians and schools are eliminating play in school and replacing it with failing and counterproductive policies of physical restraint, recess reduction and cancellation, overwork, fear, and stress, and school system management based on the compulsory mass standardized testing of children as young as 8 or even younger. These policies do not support learning. They constitute a war on childhood. They must stop.
Therefore, all school children should be given:
1. A school experience rich in discovery and experimentation, encouragement, conversation, intellectual challenge, free play and guided play, playful teaching and learning, and respect of children’s voices and individual learning differences; schools that develop a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive strengths; schools that are equitably funded and provide social support services when necessary, including healthy meals; manageably small class sizes; safety and security; schools that deliver a full curriculum including the arts and physical activity; regular high-quality assessments by fully qualified professional teachers instead of standardized tests; schools that follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on recess and play, including never withholding recess from a child as a punishment; and schools run by teachers and administrators fully trained in educational research, childhood development and classroom practice, including the effective use of play and physical activity to enhance learning.
2. At least 60 minutes per day of safely supervised, free-play recess, outdoors whenever possible; and, as is recommended by the National Academy of Medicine, high-quality physical education of an average of at least 30 minutes per day in elementary school and 45 minutes per day in middle and high school.
3. Regular periods of school time devoted to child-initiated classroom play and hands-on “passion projects” of the child’s choice.
4. The freedom to fail and learn from failure as a pathway to success.
5. Schools that encourage an out-of-school childhood rich in play, physical activity, independent reading, mental health and physical well-being, sleep, unplugging, family time, and downtime.
School budgets and schedules should be revised accordingly.
Politicians and administrators should be held directly accountable to deliver these minimum standards.
(From LET THE CHILDREN PLAY by Pasi Sahlberg and William Doyle)

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!