You’ve probably never noticed a link between your kid’s stinky feet and how they’re doing in school, but a decade-long study from the University of Bournemouth suggests there may in fact be one. Already a common practice among children in Scandinavia because of all the snow, removing students’ shoes in the classroom were found to improve their academic performance and behavior overall. So that’s why Finland is kicking U.S. ass in all those academic rankings.
Data from tens of thousands of students spanning over 100 schools in 25 different countries showed that kids from all cultures benefited from this nordic track. Over the course of 10 years, researchers determined that going shoeless led to cleaner facilities, greater engagement and less bullying overall. According to the lead author’s website, children reported that it was harder to be “naughty” with their shoes off — something conveniently avoided mentioning to their parents. Schools saw about a 27 percent reduction in cleaning costs because they weren’t tracking in anymore filth, on top of decreased furniture costs due to more students sitting on the floor. Though the study did not track parental expenses, it’s plausible that such savings translated to less wear and tear on kid’s shoes, but that doesn’t matter as much since they just outgrew them 10 minutes ago.
Despite being covered by multiple media outlets, the original study is not accessible online at this time. In lieu of concrete numbers and a clear breakdown of the methodology, it’s important to take these findings with with a grain of salt and a spray of some tough actin’ Tinactin. But given how simple the takeaway is, your kid’s teacher might want to embrace the possibilities. Ultimately, those little piggies could be a lot more productive in school than the market.
[H/T] The Independant