Thursday, April 2, 2009

Doodling proves useful -- big surprise?

This article gives the details on a February 28 report in Ap­plied Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­o­gy about a study on the value of doodling: Test subjects giv­en a doo­dling task while lis­ten­ing to a dull phone mes­sage had im­proved re­call over non-doo­dling subjects -- and we're talking about a 29% improvement.
Doodle! It makes you retain information better! (I knew it all along)
I loved the teachers in my high school who understood that doodling helped my retention of information. They let me doodle during class and I was grateful -- it was a big motivator for me, to get even more work done.
I let kids doodle during my author presentations. After almost every session, there are a few kids who run up to show me how they've covered nearly every inch of the paper. Invariably, they're expanding on something I said -- and it doesn't appear at all to me that they're drawing instead of listening.
They're drawing while listening.
Like I do.
Kids are so smart -- they're learning early what it took me years to figure out (and what it took science decades more to prove).


rebecca said...

Fascinating post, Ruth! And so true, in my experience. This is why I draw in church--the drawings I do (which only rarely have anything to do with the sermons) allow me to listen (as in, really focus and listen) to and retain the content of the sermons (which at my church are always extremely cerebral and provocative and interesting.) This is why I'm addicted to listening to audiobooks when I'm working in the studio.

The other thing I find to be so cool is that I can look at drawings later (years later, sometimes) and remember what it was that I was listening to when I drew them. Some PhD candidate should write a dissertion on this cognitive phenomenon, dontcha think?

In the meantime, keep on with the doodling. We draw, therefore we think. And vice versa.

Erin Edwards said...

I was just trying to find out if your new book was coming out in time for our summer trips - this summer, not next summer! In the words of my 7-year old when she wanted your book for our last trip, what are you doing that you haven't finished it yet? :) But since I found your blog to get the info, I know what you're doing.

Congratulations on the Beverly Cleary award nomination! I just read her autobiographies - so inspiring!