Saturday, October 10, 2009
Education Enhancing Drugs
The Freakonomics Blog recently pointed to research showing that 25% of college students are using drugs to improve their academic performance. Never having taken them myself, I'm unsure about the costs and benefits of the trend. That said, my initial reaction as an educator is to see how much it could help struggling students. I have witnessed motivated students wrestle with the "sit down and learn" method that has dominated schooling for years. I've often described success in middle school as attendence, success in high school as effort, and success in college as ability, but these drugs could remove the genetic lock to higher education. I support safely increasing the intellegence of our students, whether that is through tutoring or Ritalin. One could also complain that these drugs could muddle the signal to employers of good grades, but there's no reason to think these improvement wouldn't carry over to the workforce as well.