In a school that prides itself in its collective intellect, creativity, and drive, it’s no surprise that doodles can be found even in the strangest of places. From a teacher’s perspective, doodling seems to be an obvious sign of disregard for class work and their lessons. However, from a student’s view, it’s a medium of creative expression that keeps them awake during less stimulating classes.
Senior Ivanka Juran states, “I not only doodle because it’s fun and it helps me practice my art skills. Doodling helps me because I’m a very visual person. If I remember what I’m drawing when I hear the teacher saying something it can become easier to recall.”
On the other hand, AP World History teacher John O’Malley strongly believes, “[Students] are obligated to bring to class their concentration and attention and avoid…distraction.” In his opinion, if a student is not focused entirely on the task at hand, whether it be because of doodling or other assignments, then they cannot be prepared to participate in class.
Sophomore Nalini Ramdeo states, “Doodling, even with its appeal, is a distraction and takes away from the class as a whole.”
Art teacher Margherita Wischerth disagrees and insists, “I do think it’s possible for students to integrate doodling into their notes.” She further pointed out, “There is a difference between doodling and sketching, doodling is mindless marks, sketching is when someone has a desire… it’s drawing.”
A study conducted by psychologist Jackie Andrade of the University of Plymouth, published in the 2009 Applied Cognitive Psychology journal, showed doodlers actually retain more information than non-doodlers. The result of the controlled experiment showed that in a group of 40 participants, 20 doodlers retained information in greater detail from a boringly tedious voice mail as compared to those not allowed to doodle.
Designer and author Milton Glaser states, “When you draw an object, the mind becomes deeply intensely attentive and it’s that act of attention that allows you to really grasp something, to become fully conscious of it.”
Author Sunni Brown, who is known for being “Infodoodler in Chief” at Sunni Brown Ink, a visual thinking consultancy and author of The Doodle Revolution, says, ““I know that doodling has a profound impact on the way that we can process information and the way that we can solve problems.”