Doodling is often seen as a sign of distraction. If you’re doodling, you’re not paying attention. If you’re drawing, you’re not taking notes. You’re not listening. You’re not learning.
But research published in the latest edition of the journal Science challenges the anti-doodling stance. It contends that not only can doodling help students learn, but that drawing is an important tool for scientific discovery.
The researchers — Shaaron Ainsworth, Vaughan Prain, and Russell Tytler — argue that scientists rely on visualizations in order to make sense of their observations and discoveries. Words alone — as notes or as longer explanation and analysis — aren’t enough. By extension then, creating drawings is important for all those engaged in scientific inquiry, whether they’re scientists or students.