When I was in grade school, I doodled in class. I got in trouble for it sometimes, because drawing in class can look a lot like goofing off and daydreaming. What I never managed to explain to my teachers is that my abstract swirls and shapes helped me repeat almost word-for-word the lesson I'd heard.
In conducting personal (read: not at all scientifically rigorous or thorough) research for this article, I asked anyone willing to talk to me if they journal and, if so, what exactly they journal about. (Yes, this did make for several very awkward conversations.) Of the thirty-two people I asked, just four journaled regularly.
The key to learning is to stop passively consuming information and start actively engaging with the ideas we encounter.
One effective way researchers have found to reinforce learning is through reflective writing: It promotes the brain’s attentive focus, boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns and gives the brain time for reflection.
"I just can't draw." It's a refrain most adults say when confronted with a blank piece of paper. Something happens in our teenage years that makes most of us shy away from drawing, fretting that our draftsmanship skills aren't up to par, and leaving it to the "artists" among us.
Drawing is a problem-solving visual tool. It helps us think better and provides clarity to a cluttered mind.
Authentic pen and paper drawing help us break free from the limiting domains of technology which digital tools like Google image search or drawing software provide, indirectly hindering our creativity.
Drawing also makes us slow down, observe and pay attention.
Drawing promotes close observation, analytical thinking, patience, and even humility, making it one of the best ways to learn.
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