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A Recess Evaluation with the Players: Taking Steps Toward Participatory Action Research


This playground study conceptualizes recess as a time and space that belongs to students; their inclusion in this evaluation is a notable difference from other recess/playground research. The goal was to help elementary school students make the changes they felt were needed on their playground. After conducting structured observations and student and recess aide focus groups, a report was presented to all stakeholders, and recess changes were made. We seek to show how the process of being inclusive during the evaluation was not only valuable for determining problem definition and potential interventions, but was also necessary to determine the best methods for solutions, move toward second-order change, and to create a space to facilitate children’s participation and empowerment.

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