Why Einstein, JFK, Edison, and Marie Curie All Doodled

Why Einstein, JFK, Edison, and Marie Curie All Doodled

Photo by Sunni Brown

Photo by Sunni Brown

Whether you call yourself an artist or not, everyone can doodle. Doodling is the casual, spontaneous drawing (or for some, mark-making) that we use to support thinking out a problem or concept.

Doodling boosts comprehension, retention and recall, increases insights, elevates creativity, faster decisions, and allows you to organize information on a small and large scale with increased clarity. JFK would doodle words or names, while Larry Page (cofounder of Google) has been quoted saying that it was mandatory for his team to write down their project names and then rank them in order to prioritize. Both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are well-known for doodling in White House meetings, and in the new book The Doodle RevolutionSunni Brown thinks you should too:

Three researchers studying the effects of doodling and drawing on student’s ability to learn science discovered that when students shift their focus from interpreting presented visuals to creating their own visual representations, they have a considerably deeper learning experience. The doodling students in this study demonstrated heightened abilities to generate new inferences, amplify and refine their reasoning, clarify their conceptual understanding for other audiences, and engage at a profound and even “striking’ ” level compared with students who were just reading or reading and writing summaries. Based on these observations, the researchers advocated that drawing be recognized as a key element in education, right up there in value with reading, writing, and having group discussions.

Because of the lack of pressure on the actual “quality” of the doodle, Brown argues that this is the perfect tool for everyone in the room to use without fear of judgement or worry over artistic skills (or lack thereof). 

Check out her book and website to learn more. 

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