Have you ever looked through someone's school notes or homework or even just flip through a notebook of theirs and see their doodles; silly pictures created to help add a little more fun in the classroom and even expand someone's imagination. Some teachers disprove of doodling, thinking it as nothing more than nonsense and a distraction during their lesson. However, this concept on doodling is all wrong. Doodles do not have to be just pictures drawn on paper out of boredom; in fact, doodling in class is something that can actually help someone learn and pay attention even more. Lorrie Giovinco-Harte wrote an article on how adults should not discourage children from doodling (Examiner.com). Doodles have been given a bad reputation because people think that kids, teens, or anyone that does it is only bored and so it is to keep them busy. Doodling can actually have giant advantages if you understand them and use them in such a way. They can be used to understand someone better, to help remember important things, and even help teach themselves the lesson if they do not understand it as well as other people. Doodling is a giant unexplored land of experience that many miss out on.
Believe it or not but by doodling during class a person's memory can actually be expanded. By doodling during the lesson the children who were tested were able to remember the things they learned better than those who just sit and do nothing. It is a proven fact that has been tested out on a group of kids and proven correct. Doodling in class can help a person's memory, thus giving them an advantage when it comes to lessons, tests, and quizzes.
"Researchers in Great Britain have found that doodling is an important tool to help retain information. When studying individuals who listened to a recorded message which included factual pieces of information such as names and places, those who doodled while listening, remember twenty-nine percent more than those who did not."- (Don't discourage children from doodling in class)
Parents who believe that children who doodle are not paying attention to the facts and are proven wrong by many studies. It would seem that when a student doodles, they are more likely to pay even more attention than a student sitting in the desk just listening. Most likely the student in the desk not doodling is only half listening as their mind wanders off into their own world. Professor Jackie Andrade of the University of Plymouth, explains that doodling is a tactic used by humans to keep from day dreaming and staying focused on the lesson (Do not discourage children from doodling in class). In fact, the student doodling is trying hard to tune in and not tune out. This fact holds true even for adults. As told before, Jackie Andrade, did an experiment on this while doing her study on doodling.
"She asked forty adult volunteers to listen to a monotonous mock telephone message about a party. Half the participants were told to doodle while listening to the message and to write down mentioned partygoers' names but to ignore all the other information. The other half were told to do the same but the doodling option was not allowed. Later all forty listeners were asked what they remembered from the message on a surprise memory test. The results saying that the doodles had the best recall out of the entire group and remembered twenty-nine percent more than the non-doodlers."- (newsweek.com)
This same professor was questioned at an interview and said that they would even allow students to doodle more because it helps memory (newsweek.com).
Doodles can also be a doorway to learning more about a student themselves. When a student draws they usually will find something they enjoy drawing the most (washburnreview.org). They will find something that expresses who they are or how they feel. You may even find how they might learn and think while examining their doodles. A student named Jessica Wright doodled in her notebooks all the time in high school. Though the things she drew gave her unwanted attention from other students, she found things she was fond of drawing and so did this often.
"I draw faces a lot," Said Wright, "I draw a lot of dancing, inanimate objects. Cigarettes, pencils, paperclips, bear cans, anything like that. I give them legs and arms, and I make sure they have dancing shoes on , and canes and top hats." (Students doodle in class for different Reasons)
Doodling is also a great stress reliever for a person. You can sometimes tell how a person feels by some of the doodles they draw. If they are angry, maybe they have a bunch of frowning faces. If sad, maybe they drew dark clouds. In any case when a person doodles, sometimes their doodles depend on their mood. Garcia once used doodling as a reliever when he was frustrated.
"I got a bill from St. Francis hospital for an outrageous amount of money," said Garcia. "Since I couldn't pay it at the time, I decided just to draw a Tyrannosaurus rex on the return portion of the bill, with the caption 'it is a t-rex, he is hungry.' Apparently, they would not accept that as payment because I still get bills from them." (Students doodle in class for different Reasons)
Of course it is not recommended that you doodle on your bills and send them back with no money but this also proves that a doodle can mean something to someone and can affect the mood. Teachers should defiantly take a look at some of the doodles when grading papers or reading someone's notes. You never know what you may learn about a person. Who knows, maybe one of them is a real Picasso and you can help them go towards a job in that field.
Doodling in class can help a student learn the lesson. We discussed earlier that by doodling a person's memory recall is even better. How about we take it to another level? What if doodling can help a student learn a lesson? When a student doodles they are subconsciously drawing what is on their mind. If they are doodling in class, the lesson is on the person's mind. Some students learn in different ways. One of the ways students learn is visual. Doodling is a visual learning session. They can help the student do their work and express themselves at the same time. There are students who doodle in class so they can pay attention to the lesson (radicalparenting.com). There are even some students that make manga, a type of Japanese style of art comic, journals so instead of just writing about their day they can draw and show their day as well and they learn this way as well (radicalparenting.com). Another way doodling helps students learn is the ever popular multitasking skill. Doodling develops this skill because you are working your brain in overdrive. You are doodling, listening, watching what you doodle and learning the lesson all at the same time (radicalparenting.com). If the student does not understand the written lesson just by listening, maybe a silly picture can help them remember the formula or process better. Visual lessons can be the best; visual lesson can be interesting and by doodling around the notes to show how something works.
People also believe that doodling will get students nowhere in life except bad grades and a job at a fast-food restaurant. This is a false accusation and an unfair one at that to the doodling case. Just because someone doodles a lot does not mean it will not lead to a successful future. Actually doodling can most likely lead a student towards a passion in the arts job field. Doodling is a type of art skill that some students do not realize is a great skill to have. By doodling you are showing your artistic talent and who knows, the doodles could be masterpieces of the future. Doodling can become a career skill down the road someday (radicalparenting.com). Besides that, doodling is also a skill that takes real life work so a student will not always be in front of the computer screen or always watching television (radicalparenting.com). They will be doodling and honing their drawing skills towards a productive career as an animator, comic novelist, graphic designer, or even fashion designer.
Doodling for a long time has been the enemy of teachers and parents because it has gained a bad reputation through rumors and superstitions. Doodling is not all that bad when you give it a chance to show what it can really do. Doodling can help students stay on task rather than having them sit in their desk and letting their minds wander to the land of Oz and missing the entire lesson. Doodling is also a wonderful way to find out who someone truly is and how they feel deep down inside. You could learn something about someone you would never thought you would know about them. Doodling can even lead towards a successful career for a student. No matter how you look at it, doodling can become more of a help than a hindrance in school. Give it a try and see what happens. Students grades will improve and they will most likely enjoy the class better, having something fun to do in their time while they learn. Doodling will lead to good things and become a great ally.
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