Nearly 90 percent of teachers and parents say reading 15 pages on paper every day can help improve a student’s memory and language development, according to the Paper and Packaging Board’s Fourth Annual Back-to-School Report: Paper and Productive Learning.
Because paper doesn’t have flashing notifications that distract us, we spend more time and engage more of our senses while reading on paper. We can feel the texture of the page beneath our hand. We can hear the crinkle of a page turning. We can see ideas coming to life before our eyes. It is through this sensory contact that we absorb, comprehend and retain information.
Paper and Productive Learning in the Classroom
Paper continues to be the preferred tool for productivity among students, teachers and parents. In fact, 94 percent of college students say paper is essential to helping them achieve their academic goals, and 89 percent of students in grade school agree. Meanwhile, 92 percent of educators and 90 percent of parents agree that reading on paper can benefit any student.
“Paper is imperative in the classroom,” says Meagen Rowe, a seventh-grade teacher at Banks Trail Middle School in Fort Mill, South Carolina. “Students need to be able to work out and manipulate math and science problems with a pencil and paper. Paper also encourages them to stay focused because there are no other distractions.”
Allee Jo Stewart, a kindergarten teacher for special needs students at Sterling Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina, agrees. “One of the core exercises we expect our students to achieve is the ability to write their names independently,” she says. “Paper allows them to practice the essential skills needed for life, like handwriting and knowing how to write their names. It also shows progression by documenting the students’ progress. My kids are so proud when they produce something tangible that they can show their parents; a computer or whiteboard doesn’t allow for this same feeling.”
The Back-to-School Report notes that paper’s enduring role in education and productive learning is no surprise. The Paper and Packaging Board’s research shows that 80 percent of people say that paper and paper-based packaging are relevant in their daily lives. After all, paper is a versatile material that helps us imagine, create and accomplish our objectives. It also offers peace of mind as it secures our information and provides proof of our hard work.
Paper Beyond the Classroom
Paper’s positive effect on productive learning doesn’t end with reading and comprehension in the classroom. It extends into the workplace. Sixty-four percent of employees say they prefer to distribute printed agendas and other documents at the workplace. These pieces of paper are perfect for taking notes to study and reference later.
Paper doesn’t just make us smarter; it’s also a smart choice. Sixty-two percent of adults agree paper-based products are an environmentally smart choice because they come from trees, a renewable resource.
Learn more about the latest reading research and paper statistics by reading the full Paper and Packaging Board Back-to-School Report. You can also take a look at some of our other articles on the benefits of paper.