Does the physical act of writing by hand trigger different thought processes?
Does hand writing encode information differently? Does it affect memory?
The Sunday edition of a Toronto newspaper contained a fascinating, disturbing story on high-school students who are quite literally incapable of signing their own name. Alas, that would seem destined to include most children: The art of writing longhand is no longer required teaching in most Ontario schools. For today’s teenagers it’s at best a distant memory; for tomorrow’s it will be something akin to hieroglyphics.
It’s not just an Ontario thing. Penmanship also has been dropped from the Common Core State Standards, the voluntary national curriculum in the U.S., leaving it up to each state to decide whether it should be taught. Some have: North Carolina, California and Massachusetts are among states that have responded by making it mandatory. But the trend elsewhere is away from it. In the digital age, where kids are surgically connected to their keyboards, where’s the need?
I learned to type when I was…
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