The importance of handwriting.
WAs technology has advanced and become widely used in educational establishments it seems that a marked decline in handwriting has accompanied it. Chances are anyone in the UK would be hard pushed to remember when they last put pen to paper to write anything but a shopping list or post-it note.
Despite the mandatory encouragement and supervision of handwriting for early years pupils, handwriting assessments are low priority in some schools. Young people are wedded to texting and tweeting which both value brevity over grammar. It isn’t surprising that handwriting importance is afforded zero consideration in older children.
Many parents will agree that trying to get their teens to sit down and write just for the fun of it is a near impossible task. Handwriting is seen by many teenagers as quaintly old-fashioned and completely unnecessary.
The Link Between Handwriting and Cognitive Behaviour
Many studies have shown that children learn better and commit facts to memory more easily when they write things down rather than typing.
Indeed a study noted by Harvard University found differences in learning between students who used pen and paper to take notes and those who used laptops in class.
The theory behind this shows that students who regularly use electronic devices in class not only learn to type quicker than they can write but also become easily distracted.
When you type something, you are probably more concerned with looking at the keyboard than with what you are actually writing. However, when you write something down you have to engage in the act of thinking about the information you’re receiving.
The act of committing words to paper is a greater aid to learning than a fleeting sweep over a keyboard. This is because you are more likely to remember facts when you have to write them down.
Another advantage when physically writing as opposed to gazing at a laptop, students are unable to become distracted by what could be pinging into an inbox!
When Tech Just Isn’t Feasible
When students move into further education, the importance of handwriting becomes crucial in certain subjects.
For instance, a student studying chemistry would be advised to leave any electronic devices outside the room. This is because some chemicals are not compatible with device batteries.
In subjects such as maths and science the writing and solving of equations simply cannot be done on a laptop. They must be written in order to study, change and solve them.
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Handwriting Reflects Who We Are
Your handwriting can say a lot about your personality and who you are. Imagine getting a birthday or Valentine’s card with a typed message. Then imagine that same card has been chosen personally and handwritten just for you. There’s a difference in how you would perceive these two cards; you would appreciate the handwritten one more because of the greater effort that has gone into it.
Though young people may wish handwriting was obsolete there are so many instances, where handwriting trumps typing.