Is Gum Really That Dumb?

Chewing gum has been an issue in schools for a long time. Every time a teacher catches you with gum, they tell you to spit it out in the trash because it’s against school rules.

What some teachers and principals don’t realize, chewing gum in school actually has several benefits. Chewing gum should be allowed in school, period. Children with ADHD tend to do 2 things at once while they are working, such as tapping their feet, fingers, or humming. Most teachers I know find it pretty annoying, especially when s/he wants the classroom quiet. But, chewing gum is a substitute for the disruptions during class. Research shows that when students with ADHD chew gum, they tend to work better and pay more attention than they would if they weren’t chewing gum.

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There was research done by students at the Baylor College of Medicine, to see if chewing gum during homework and test-taking situations would make their scores higher. They took 108 8th grade math students and divided them into 2 groups. The 1st group chewed gum during school ; while doing homework, and the other group didn’t chew any gum. During a 14 week period, they watched the students, and then compared the results. The students who chewed gum had better final grades and a 3% increase in their standardized math test scores, compared to the non-gum chewers.

According to the ‘Brain Health & Puzzles’ website, “One area of the brain that is chock full of insulin receptors is the hippocampus, which is crucial to memory function.” When you chew gum, it’s like tricking your brain into thinking a meal is being consumed, so your brain sends out insulin that soaks up glucose & sugar in the blood that is used for energy. This can help you have better memory, thinking, and test-taking skills in and out of school. Studies have reported that the blood flow to the brain increases up to 25-40% while chewing gum. I’m not trying to say that teachers should allow students to chew gum all day.

I just want them to allow students to chew it during tests. If they do that, then we might have a chance of higher scores. I understand the fact that teachers don’t like us chewing gum during class because most kids chew with their mouths wide open, and they sound like cows. But the students who don’t shouldn’t be punished for what the other kids do. So, to solve that problem, just make the kids who chew disruptively spit it out. Then maybe they will start chewing gum normally so they won’t have to get rid of it.

Maybe if school systems would consider allowing students to chew gum during class, they will see the change in math scores, even if it’s not a drastic one. I believe there are many more pros to chewing gum in school than there are cons, and that teachers should take that into account.