Insights / Research
Schooled On Doodling:
The Surprising Power of
Doodling in the Classroom
The Doodle Challenge Team
February 17th, 2019
"Research has demonstrated a solid correlation between the act of doodling and a healthier, more focused mindset that is free of stress and other negative moods. This research even goes so far as to state that, “If doodling can lower chronic stress levels, then it has the potential to be a self-care form of art therapy that is accessible to all individuals…[making it] a universally available form of therapy for chronic stress.”
Illustration by Dhedy Arwanto
Creativity is one of the most important skills that an educator can cultivate in his or her students. Creative problem solving empowers students with the emotional and mental tools they need to handle a variety of situations and learning tasks. These skills, coupled with mindfulness practices, allow students to better communicate their ideas and emotions in the classroom. Because these are vital life skills, it is important to seek ways of developing them in students from as early an age as possible.
Instituting doodling in the classroom is a fantastic method for teachers to encourage the development of these essential skills. Research has shown a direct correlation between doodling and increased levels of concentration and memory retention. Doodling also creates connections between concepts. While doodling helps the conscious mind to focus and concentrate, it simultaneously pushes the unconscious mind to connect ideas with each other. Experts in pedagogy and learning state that doodling is, “a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking.”
These thinking patterns aid in the process of story formation, which also plays an important role in the learning process. Students who doodle are far more likely to generate a sense of a story about the things they are learning. Experts refer to these as ‘story chains’. Story chains can have a significantly positive effect on student memory - especially when combined with the power of doodling, which gives them a sense of visibility and tangibility.
By promoting creative confidence and mindfulness in students, doodling offers them a valuable avenue for learning to deal with difficult and complicated emotions. Students learn to feel at ease in the classroom, which empowers them to think creatively and to celebrate creative thinking in each other. Such practices are key elements for educators when it comes to creating a learning environment that inspires and excites students.
The Doodle Challenge seeks to provide educators with the tools and knowledge they need to utilize doodling, and its benefits, in their classrooms. Students of all ages can benefit from having The Doodle Challange incorporated into their learning paths. By prompting students to doodle, The Doodle Challenge inspires new methods of thinking, learning, and creativity.
The Doodle Portal, created with teachers in mind, provides them with lesson plans that are customized by age group and grade level. In order to further empower educators, those who are interested in incorporating The Doodle Challenge can attend workshops about The Doodle Challenge Method. These workshops are open to both students and faculty and can be a great way to introduce this powerful learning tool into the classroom.
The Benefits of
There are numerous health benefits to doodling including reducing stress, burnout and fostering creative problem-solving skills. Discover more benefits here.
The Science Behind Doodling
In our 2019 report, we look at the "Stress Epidemic" and dive deep into the benefits of doodling and the evident effect it has on our minds. Along with taking closer look stress, burnout, disconnect,