Want to improve student learning? Get more kids into Dungeons and Dragons.

Devotees of the role-play fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons have cause to celebrate. New test scores out of a school in Texas have bolstered the hypothesis that the game may actually help improve academic performance, particularly in the maths and sciences.

As KQED explains, the game is a favorite pastime for a group of students at Davis Ninth Grade School outside Houston who substantially outperformed the district on standardized tests. You might assume high performing students are simply more attracted to the game, but that wasn’t the case here. The students had a history of learning problems that seemed to improve after they began playing D&D.

That was enough for Davis Ninth teacher Kade Wells to declare that “playing Dungeons & Dragons makes you smarter.”

Empirical evidence backs her up. Studies have shown that role-playing games or RPGs can stimulate intellectual curiosity and academic performance. An experiment by educational researcher and teacher Alexandra Carter similarly found that D&D can help struggling kids with a range of subjects in school.

For more on how D&D and other RPGs may be leading to better student outcomes, visit KQED.


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