Sketching Knowledge

Look into Nature, then you will understand it better.”  Albert Einstein, (from A.S.L. & Associates)Screen shot 2013-10-01 at 10.26.32 AM

A growing body of research is suggesting students may learn science more effectively by using their imaginations through various forms of art expression.  Doodling, drawing, collage, and sketchbooking are all methods students can use as vehicles for creative learning.  Art may in fact be a more successful form of knowledge retention than traditional note taking.   Art forces the student to actually look at the subject and draw on imagination.

Live Science has an article on using artistic expression for science learning and quotes Australian researcher Russell Tytler of Deakin University in Waurn Pond, Australia as saying, “ We can have students exercising their creativity and imagination in order to learn the canonical knowledge of science.  There is no need for it to be ‘transmitted’ to students as dead knowledge.”  Students learn concepts by art projects.

Art would likely hold student attention longer, as well.  What’s more fun: taking notes from a boring lecture or creating art projects?  Doodling notes instead of writing them captures more focused attention.  The student must use eyes, ears and imagination to utilize art making for learning, a triple focus.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

It will be interesting to see if more schools take up art as a form of learning.  However, schools are cutting art rather than increasing its use in curriculum.  How much evidence will it take to change that process?  Time will tell.