Handwriting

Handwriting, and whether it is taught in schools, seems to be a bone of contention at the moment. There are several articles that have appeared in the media over the summer about handwriting in general, one here from the Guardian and a blog here. A conversation also stuck up on twitter one night last week between myself and a few of the people I follow which started with whether we should be teaching handwriting and got us round to the way the exam system is set up.

The arguments arise due to the increase in use of laptops, computers and other personal electronic devices in recent years. I certainly agree that people do a lot less writing by hand than in the past but this is not necessarily mimicked within the education system; partly as there’s not the funding to put enough up-to-date equipment in many schools and partly due to a reluctance of many teachers to use it. The children we are teaching now may, quite possibly, never need to write anything by hand again once they’ve left school. However, unless you have special circumstances, most exams taken by school-age children, and even in university, are currently still written by hand. Therefore we still have the need to make sure that children are able to communicate themselves through their handwriting. It also helps to develop fine-motor skills and cursive handwriting is often cited (I don’t have references) as being important for special needs children to aid spelling etc.

It would be good to know what others think:

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4 Responses to Handwriting

  1. EJ says:

    Can I vote “I think we should teach children to write legibly but I don’t believe joined writing is necessary in the age of the computer”? 😉

    • emmaldawson says:

      Of course you can. So what would be your view on joining for special needs children? I’ve heard that joining writing causes hand memory to be formed that helps aid spelling memory. I’ve never tested it myself or know how strong the research is but it’s something that makes sense to me.

      • EJ says:

        I’ve never looked into it, but as someone who prints nearly all my work but can spell pretty well (generally!) my own experience is that joining isn’t necessary.

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