Structure doesn’t always achieve the goals desired. Often it is just a waste of time.

How often are you like this school in Indiana?  They have a new policy in place where students must participate in an approved recess activity or get sent to the principal’s office.  The rationale behind this policy is that the school wants students to be active during this time.  Apparently the only way to ensure students are active is to force them into adult approved activities.

This is structure gone wrong.  The intention is good but the execution is poor.  It follows a management style philosophy of “if I can’t see it happening it probably isn’t happening.”  This approach removes the individual ability to improvise solutions, socialize problems, creatively come up with something new altogether or just generally change your mind halfway through recess.

Structure assumes that people need to be herded and managed.  That they are not capable of making the right decisions on their own.  With adults this is a belittling concept.  With elementary students it’s short sighted because one of the goals of recess is to encourage students to be individuals, engage with other students and to learn to make their own decisions with how to use their time.

Are the structures you create intended to support creativity and solution development?  Or are they like this school and there to make the grown-ups feel like they are making students’ lives better while doing the opposite?


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