Just to give you an idea of how schools have changed, and not for the better, I want to give you an idea of the non-classroom things I did in a typical day at PS 91 in Brooklyn when I was in 5th Grade (1957)
First thing I did, at 8 AM, I went to the corner of Maple Street and Kingston Avenue where, as a Lieutenant in the Safety Patrol, I helped younger children cross the street heading to school
8:30 AM. I run to school where I have 15 minutes left to play bunch ball in the schoolyard before I head off to class
11:30 I run to Maple Street where I help younger students cross the street, and then grab a quick lunch
1:30 PM. As a member of the school audio visual squad, I help show a film in a 2nd grade class
3 PM I run to Maple Street to help students cross the street going home
7 PM. I return to PS 91, head to the gym, and play two hours of basketball and nok hockey.
In between these activities, I went to class, and did homework. Schoolwork was sometimes boring, but because I had so much physical activity, and so much outside of class responsibility, I paid attention enough to learn most of what they were teaching me. And no body needed to drug me, even though I was a tough rebellious kid who would probably today be classified O.D.D. ( Oppositional Defiance Disorder). The school figured out a way to use my restless energy as an asset to the community, rather than something that would undermine it
Today, the dominant trend in education policy is to increase class time, reduce play and exercise time, and limit student responsibility to absorbing information. And when students can't adopt to this routine, they drug them or marginalize them
I think the model I was exposed to worked better. It certainly did for me.