Ronni’s Points to Ponder
Many residents around town weighed in on the importance of handwriting and whether schools should continue to teach a skill that may be obsolete. Surprisingly, the consensus is that schools should teach handwriting, which includes both cursive and print. Some of the parents of the children enrolled in Olney Elementary said they are glad that cursive is taught in Olney schools.
Many schools in the United States include handwriting courses as part of the curricular requirements. Some schools, on the other hand, replace handwriting courses with keyboarding courses as early as the First grade. Educators and psychologists would argue that handwriting is still important as there are links between handwriting and educational development
The scholarly journal “Trends in Neuroscience and Education” published a study that analyzed the effects of handwriting on functional brain development. Preliterate children printed, typed, or traced letters during an MRI scan. The findings indicated that the brain was stimulated after handwriting, but not after tracing or typing. The researchers concluded that handwriting may enhance children’s ability to read. Olney resident Kathryn Piegat believes handwriting trains the eye to move from left to right just as it does when the child learns to read.
Perhaps there is a benefit associated with handwriting, but everyone would not subscribe to that idea. An article in The Washington Post revealed that a new font type called “Sans Forgetica” may help readers improve comprehension because the font is somewhat illegible and as such, it decreases the reader’s speed and increases retention according to the “Desirable Difficulty” theory.
I believe handwriting is essential along with anything that causes us to be mindful. Hooray to the children who want to learn cursive writing. Keep the conversation going; let us know what you think on Facebook @ Olney Enterprise.