To improve learning, German school allows chewing gum

Dec 01, 2010

Few things annoy a teacher more than a pupil chewing gum in class, but a primary school in southern Germany is now actively encouraging them to do so -- in order to improve their grades.

" is good for the children's health and improves their ," said Wolfgang Ellegast from the education ministry in Bavaria, home to the Volkenschwand school where the pilot project is being run.

"No one is being forced to chew gum," headmaster Hans Dasch told AFP. "But it helps the concentrate and deal with stress, particularly during written tests."

He added: "The prerequisite for learning with fun is that kids come to school without fear and that they feel happy... Therefore we are encouraging them to chew gum in break and in lessons."

Chewing gum is also good for dental health, particularly after meals when it is not possible for the 70 children aged between six and 10 at the to brush their teeth, organisers said.

But it is not anarchy. According to a "firm agreement" with teachers, the children must keep their mouths closed while chewing -- except for when speaking, of course -- and properly dispose of the gum.

To this end, each desk equipped with a special container decorated by the children themselves with bees, ladybirds, snails and the like in partnership with a local artist.

"All the children respect the rules. None of them makes bubbles ... None of them stick their gum on the seats," said the headmaster, who admits he chews gum too, along with several teachers.

"The pupils chew in a very disciplined manner."

Explore further: Best of Last Week – First map of hidden universe, pursuit of compact fusion and new clues about the causes of depression

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chewing gum -- the new post-operative medicine

Feb 27, 2008

In an article recently recommended by Bradley Kropp of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, researchers find chewing gum is a simple solution to the recovery of bowel function after gastrointestinal surgery – a problem that has troubled ...

Recommended for you

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

Social trust eroded in Chinese product-tampering incident

Oct 14, 2014

For about a decade, Chinese consumers weren't getting what they paid for when they purchased Wuchang, a special brand of gourmet rice that has a peculiar scent. The quality was being diluted when less expensive rice was aromatized, ...

The 2014 Nobel Prizes at a glance

Oct 13, 2014

(AP)—All winners of the 2014 Nobel Prizes have now been announced, starting with the medicine award a week ago and ending with the economics prize on Monday.

User comments : 0