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To Chew or To Not Chew?

How Chewing Gum Can Help Students Become Better Learners in Class

Photo by Jacob Rubich on Unsplash

Almost all schools around the United States have placed a ban on chewing gum in and around classrooms. With fear that students are going to leave the room a mess or stick gum under the desk, gum is almost looked at like an act of violence in a classroom, but it could be the one thing that pushes students past the bubble.

I will chew gum almost anytime I have the chance, especially when studying. I find that chewing gum allows me to remain focused on a task at hand and prevents my mind from straying off. I also find that gum keeps my brain thinking, almost like I have hit top speed in a car that has no intention of stopping until I put that pencil down.

In a study, gum has shown to help memory in the classroom. The study, conducted by Psychology Today, consisted of 20 students chewing gum while studying for a multiple choice question test and another 20 with no gum at all. After both groups had studied and taken the test, the researchers discovered that the students who chewed gum were more alert and improved learning as the “gummers” tended to score higher than the others. By allowing students to have the ability to have gum in class, teachers and schools could see an exponential rise in scores and test taking ability.

Along with improving memory, gum has been shown to reduce stress while in the classroom and other areas. A study using Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) found that chewing gum boots the area of the brain that controls memory. With this, students who chew gum while either studying or learning are more likely to be able to remember the material that they are learning.

Chewing gum has also been found to reduce stress in the classroom and outside. If, during a presentation or test, a student not chewing gum could experience anxiety or might get worked up. However, a student who has the option to chew gum in class could see better results than the student who doesn't.

Although gum in class has numerous benefits, it has its downsides as well. The issue of disrespect comes into the picture when gum enters the classroom. The classroom is the teachers' space to educate young minds in a safe environment. If their rule is “no gum allowed,” then that rule should be followed, and if the students were to break that rule, the privilege should be lost.

Although different, music has been seen to help kids take tests, and students who have teachers play music in the background during a test seems to lower stress. Well, gum has the same effect. By building trust with the students, the teachers can decide on whether or not the students are mature enough to have the elastic-like treat while they take their test or quiz.


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Andy Poll

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