Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writing Facilitates Thinking

About a month ago, I mentioned the National Councl of Teachers of English has a document NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing which, among other things, states, Writing is a tool for thinking: When writers actually write, they think of things that they did not have in mind before they began writing. The act of writing generates ideas. I must admit at the time I didn't fully appreciate just how powerful this could be.

A multitude of academics have studied how writing facilitates thinking. They've covered such topics as "How Writing Helps Physics Students Become Better Problem Solvers." What, you ask? How can writing and physics have anything to do with each other? In the aforementioned article, Judy Grumbacher required her students to keep "...a log about what they are learning in class...Some students...quickly discover that writing about physics helps them learn physics." There have been several similar studies including in disciplines such as math!

The data seems to indicate everyone should be keeping a journal, a learning log for life, to help them facilitate thinking. Who knew? I just bought a new notebook for that very purpose. Of course, a blog is like a journal, too...

How about you? Have you ever journaled? What do you get out of it?


  1. We writers seem to have a jump on many things. Just a note, to build your followers, go to other blogs, find people you're interested in, and comment on their blog post. They will follow you back and become your follower too. Also blogfest are great to build your followers.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  2. I've never journaled, personally. But I do keep journals in other ways. Each writing project has one for writing notes, plotting, character ideas, that sort of thing. I also keep a journal for my writing to-do list, it's a handy spot for it, and keeps my writing on track.