In a recent CNN commentary, titled "What We Learn From Doodles," Sunni Brown makes a compelling case for more improvisational drawing in our daily activities. Brown, an author and informational designer, tells the 2011 Long Beach TED conference that students and business leaders can use free-form creativity to reinforce their own cognitive development. Doodling can increase retention and make visual connections between ideas. Brown points to an article in Science magazine that emphasizes the appeal of doodles to different learning styles and student motivation. In fact, adlibbed artwork can foster "innovative and divergent ways of thinking." According to both research and experience, doodling makes impulsive neural connections, and it allows for the imagination to play out in a visual form. So the next time we get frustrated by a student who appears inattentive, scratching designs in his notebook, we might think twice about scolding him. Brown notes that even Google has an official "Chief Doodler" on its staff, and she sees her own personal mission as "leading the doodle revolution."
Check out Brown's other work with Teacher Leadership for the 21st Century.