Handwriting is an anachronism, according to some. Finland and many American states have now dropped it from the curriculum. But many psychologists believe cursive writing still has an important role to play in cognitive development. So what’s the truth? We value the written word. Civilised societies do. It’s one of the defining features of human advancement. And yet the concept of the written word has increasingly become detached from the original mechanics of writing—as the quill gave way to the pen, so the pen acquiesced to the keyboard, and the keyboard in turn to the touch screen. Many of us—probably most of us—no longer scrawl our way through life with the end of an ink-filled plastic stick. Instead, we finger and thumb our thoughts, greetings and other forms of communication. See full article (PDF) by Antony Funnell.
Here you can find news from the NHA and also links to international news about Handwriting.
Handwriting, according to some, is an anachronism.
Finland has now dropped it from its national curriculum. And so many American states have also removed it as an educational requirement that it now only makes news when state officials opt to keep it.
We have opened our Gallery of young people’s handwriting for National Stationery Week 27 April – 3 May 2015. View PDF of gallery samples.
Children in Germany’s schools are having a tough time with their handwriting, a new study reveals. But how important is writing as a skill for students, who will have to find jobs in a digital world? Read article on dw.com
The Expert Meeting at the Schreibmotorik Institut e.V. in Heroldsberg, Germany, “What is Good Handwriting?” was successfully held on February 2014. This Expert Meeting offered the international dialogue with scientists, specialists and practitioners, who discussed the scientific foundations for learning to write, its complexity and the role of writing motor skills. As a result of this kick-off event with leading researchers in the field of handwriting skills, the Schreibmotorik Institut e.V. decided to establish an annual International Symposium on Handwriting Skills. Learn more
Cursive handwriting will be scrapped from the Finnish education curriculum and replaced by lessons in keyboard typing, it has been announced. Read article in the Independent.
Finnish students will no longer be taught handwriting at school, with typing lessons taking its place, it’s reported.
Learning joined-up writing, often in fountain pen in the UK, is almost a rite of passage for primary school students. But Finland is moving into the digital age by ditching the ink in favour of keyboards, the Savon Sanomat newspaper reports. Read on BBC News.
Article by Harriet Green in The Guardian
There have been calls to phase out signatures. BBC News
A pen which vibrates when it detects its owner making a mistake is to undergo testing in schools. The Lernstift or “learning pen”, does not require ink or special paper to work and uses an internal gyroscope to work out what is being written. Watch on BBC News
The friends of good handwriting worldwide may — or may not — be aware of some very large-scale research (n=2500) on speed and legibility, which is old enough that it should be replicated today.
Note the attached PDF (title page, showing citation data, and two following pages), which summarizes a VERY large-scale research study of italic and other handwriting (2500+ students, ages 7-19, in 23 schools) that was published in 1952 (62 years ago!) in a UK journal called THE SCHOOLMASTER (the organ of the UK’s National Union of Teachers, and now re-titled JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS).
The author, Percy Wood, was a government inspector of schools.
Though the article is brief enough, and well-thought-out enough, to deserve careful reading in full, the “hard” data on handwriting will be found on its last page. These data include the sample size and composition (2500+ students, ages 7 through 19, at 23 schools) along with data on the speed and legibility of writers in the various styles used.
Ms. Berninger noted that when students struggle with handwriting, “people usually think, well, just put them on the computer.” But her studies of normally developing and struggling students learning handwriting suggest that may not be the solution. “It turns out that many of the problems relating to why they have trouble learning handwriting might also affect how they use a keyboard.”
Karin Harman-James of Indiana University in Bloomington based her findings on results from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI, scans taken of children as they wrote and typed. The brain scans indicated that “handwriting, not keyboarding, leads to adult-like neural processing in the visual system,” which Ms. Harman-James says suggests that handwriting may have a particular role in setting children up for reading acquisition.