Recent studies show that doodling may help stimulate the brain, improving concentration and preventing inattentiveness.
A scrap piece of paper, an old index card, a used hall pass, and an empty bag of chips. All objects I have used to doodle on during my elementary and high school career. Each object helpful in keeping me from dozing off or daydreaming in class.
All pieces of in-class art have not been received too well by educators. Most teachers told me to pay attention, listen better, or to stop wasting their time. “Save it for art class” is a favorite line of a certain teacher.
But after a while, I couldn’t help but wonder just how detrimental doodling in class actually was. I always thought it was a good thing for me to doodle, as sometimes the alternative was talking to a classmate (thus disrupting the class) or fantasizing about other things. It even helped my understanding and recall of the subject.
It never seemed to be hurting me. I still participated in class and made comments and asked questions despite my dedication to my silly drawings. It was merely something for me to do while I listened.
Many people argue that if you are looking for something to do during class, you should take notes or draw diagrams of the material. Which is a valid point. If you’re looking for something to do in class, why not just do the work you are being asked to do?
And to this day, I still don’t know. Sometimes I think people like to walk the fine line between attentiveness and productivity. For example, most of my fellow students do not particularly mind showing up for class, listening to teachers lecture and observing demonstrations; but when it comes to actually doing the work, they slack off.
I have been guilty of this as well. But I’ve found that doodling seems to be the gateway between attentiveness and productivity. You can pay attention and learn the material, while still doing something you like.
Realizing that doodling actually helped me absorb the material better, I wondered if there was really any scientific proof behind this theory. Could doodling really help improve your concentration and boost your comprehension of a subject?
I found this article online from the Washington Post. It said that the University of Plymouth in the UK tested an experiment where they had forty people listen to the same two and a half minute phone conversation. The first twenty were given a sheet of paper for notes, to record specific details. The second twenty were given a coloring page with various geometric shapes.
When asked to recount the details of the phone conversation, the doodlers did a 29 percent better job than the note-takers.
Do you doodle in class? How has that affected (or not affected) your studies? If you weren’t a doodler before, are you now swayed to give it a try?
By: Monica Jean
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