Should Primary Schools Still Teach Handwriting?

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Handwriting is slowly disappearing in schools, and laptops are taking over pencils and notebooks. Newer curriculums no longer require students to handwrite papers and teach children cursive. Before technology was around, everything was handwritten. We spoke to two Jerome high school English teachers about their opinions on handwriting. Both teachers agree that grading is easier for them when typed but say there were some downsides as well. Llewellyn, opinion as a teacher said, ¨I think handwriting is good for some things, it puts a personal touch on certain items such as letters, notes, etc. But I find that it is easier when it comes to writing/grading papers, that typing is easier.¨ We asked if handwriting has gotten worse since transitioning to a computer.  Rowley said, ¨yes, just the other week a senior was writing notes for their vocabulary test and by the next day they couldn´t read their own handwriting for the test.¨  

We think we shouldn’t be so quick to get rid of our paper and pencils. There have been many studies done throughout recent years saying handwritten work is better than typing for students. One study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology argues, “The use of pen and paper gives the brain more ‘hooks’ to hang your memories on. Writing by hand creates much more activity in the sensorimotor parts of the brain. A lot of senses are activated by pressing the pen on paper, seeing the letters you write, and hearing the sounds you make while writing. These sensory experiences create contact between different parts of the brain and open the brain up for learning. We both learn better and remember better from handwriting” As the article says, handwriting makes students remember material better. About 65% of people are visual learners, handwritten work can help students recall information faster. When typing, students can get easily distracted by things on their computers. Handwriting can help avoid these distractions you may find on a laptop.