Monday, January 22, 2007

Is handwriting dead?

It’s National Handwriting Day (and John Hancock’s birthday) on the 23rd of January (Tuesday). But does it have much meaning in the era of keyboarding.? As more and more elementary schools use computers in the classrooms is
’the handwriting on the wall?’

Have computers forced handwriting out of the picture?

Is handwriting a lost art?

I used to have great handwriting- it looked good, and more importantly, it was legible. But that all changed when I went to University. Suddenly, I was scribbling instead of writing, trying to keep up with lecture notes. Now I’m lucky if I, let alone anyone else, can read my writing. Every so often, I promise myself that I will put more effort into my handwriting. That lasts about a sentence, then my brain gets ahead of the pen and everything turns to squiggles and smudges. And I turn back to the computer in desperation.

And it turns out I’m not the only one. According to University of Vanderbilt writing expert Steve Graham ‘many of today’s students reach for a keyboard rather than a pencil to communicate their thoughts’, which would be fine except that ’…they just might be typing their way to the back of the class.’

Steve Graham says ‘“Handwriting is one of the basic building blocks of good writing and plays a critical role in learning. Young children who have difficulty mastering this skill often avoid writing and their writing development may be arrested. They also may have trouble taking notes and following along in class, which will further impede their development.”

Sure does make you think. Maybe National Handwriting Day should be used by everyone to reintroduce themselves and their children to pen (or pencil) and paper…

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alicia said...

I LOVED this post. Very thought-provoking - great tie in with John Hancock's birthday you clever girl you! I may be getting back into handwriting sometime in the near future (hopefully) if I ever start doing my morning pages for "The Artist's Way."


Hi Alicia, the 'artist's way' is a great book. I read it a few years ago - kept meaning to get to the morning pages but never did. Meanwhile, the book is now gathering dust. Must re-read it. Cheers, Liz

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