A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can’t. Neither can the kids.
Students listen during a lecture in a same gender science class at G. James Gholson Middle School in Prince George’s County Public School District earlier this year. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
This is a follow-up to two popular posts about the problems kids face when they are forced to sit still in school for hours on end without a break. The first, written by pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom, was titled “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today” and discussed how being inactive affects students’ ability to stay focused and learn, and in some cases leads to improper diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. The next piece was titled
“The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class.”
Hanscom has now written a third related piece, this one specifically about middle-schoolers. Hanscom told me that she was curious about the effects of restricted movement on students in middle school, so she went to a local middle school to observe what was going on inside classrooms and talk to teachers and parents. The following post explains Hanscom’s experience and findings at the middle school she visited. Hanscom is the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England.
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