Taken from KQED News' Mind/Shift article on Dungeons & Dragons:
A group of Grade 9 students in Texas who substantially outperformed their district on a statewide standardized test all had one surprising thing in common: they all were members of the school’s Dungeons & Dragons club.
A coincidence? Otherwise, how does a fantasy role-playing game produce improved test scores? The obvious explanation is that the club draws the bright kids who are already academically inclined. But many of the kids in the club at the Title I school had histories of struggling with academics.
For Kade Wells, the teacher who runs the club at Davis Ninth Grade School outside Houston, the answer is simple: “Playing Dungeons & Dragons makes you smarter.”
The declaration is bold, but the scholarly support and anecdotal evidence is compelling. Studies have shown that the highly social and collaborative nature of the popular fantasy role-playing game cultivates a range of social-emotional skills, which can lay the foundation for improved learning. In addition to these crucial soft skills, teachers and professors who have used the game also claim it directly benefits core academic competencies.
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