As most of you know, US & UK schools are rapidly removing “cursive handwriting” from the elementary schools curriculum in favor of computer skills and classes which prepare the student for standardized tests.
Is the removal of cursive handwriting going to effect the ability of graphology to provide insight into character? How about the children’s ability to read. This article from the department for psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University has some strong evidence it does. This article comes from the UK’s leading newspaper: The Telegraph.
Warning over children’s ‘appalling’ handwriting skills
Children are struggling to write their own name because growing numbers of schools are shunning traditional handwriting lessons, academics have warned
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor
Children are struggling to write their own name because growing numbers of schools are shunning traditional handwriting lessons, academics have warned.
Education standards are at risk as pupils are increasingly allowed to submit essays digitally using email, memory sticks or even presenting PowerPoint displays, it was claimed.
Prof Carey Jewitt, from London University’s Institute of Education, said students’ handwriting skills were “absolutely appalling”, adding that many failed to get the practice they needed at home or in the classroom.
Other academics warned that a failure to teach children to write may stunt their development and hold them back in the classroom.
It comes after the publication of primary school exam results this summer showed that pupils perform worse in writing than any other core subject.
A quarter of 11-year-olds failed to reach the standards expected for their age in writing, compared with less than 20 per cent in reading and maths, figures showed.
Prof Jewitt, who has been leading research into the relationship between handwriting and technology for the last 10 years, said the amount of lesson time devoted to the skill had plummeted.
“Little children may not be able to write their names but most can type them,” she told the Times Educational Supplement.
“Even families on a very low income are using email, using Skype.
“Students’ handwriting we have seen is absolutely appalling because they are not getting any practice. They aren’t handwriting at home.”
Observations of lessons in secondary schools suggest that handwriting has now all but disappeared from the classroom, she said.
Teachers increasingly prepare their lessons in digital form in a range of subjects, including English, before presenting them on high-tech white boards.
Many children are also allowed to submit essays as computer print-outs, send them to teachers by email or hand in work using memory sticks.
Dr Karin James, from the department for psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University in the United States, told the TES that a failure to develop handwriting skills undermined children’s reading ability.
“This is setting their brains up to be able to process letters and words,” she said. “That doesn’t happen with keyboarding or even with tracing the letters.
“Creating the form, stroke by stroke, seems to be very important. They need to produce the letters in their minds, then create them on paper.”
One study from Warwick University in 2008 suggested that children who struggled to write fluently devoted more brain capacity to getting words onto a page during tests – interfering with their ability to generate ideas, select vocabulary or plan work properly.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Handwriting is the most fundamental building block of being educated.
“Every single parent expects their children to be taught how to properly write at school. The current National Curriculum stipulates this is an absolute central part of primary school lessons.
“This is a pretty esoteric debate. No one is saying that keyboard skills aren’t important – but if people like Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs had to learn to write, then so can pupils in schools today. “
The most effective way to effect positive change in your child using the kid’s workbook is when you, the parent or teacher, are working on your “Adult’s” workbook at the same time. This creates a time to learn together and you may improve yourself, too. The adults workbook is not to improve your handwriting, it was designed six years before the kid’s workbook to assist you with setting goals and using grapho-therapy to improve yourself. This combination kit includes: One Adult’s Workbook, one Kid’s Workbook, Two instructional audio CD’s, a Special Report, the Grapho-Deck.