How important is handwriting really?

It would be easy to think that handwriting isn’t important any more.  After all we live in an electronic age don’t we?


We do indeed, however there is a time and place for everything and handwriting, cursive handwriting still has an important place, here’s why.


Studies have proved that cursive handwriting has vital contributions to make to area’s such as Cognitive & Motor Skills Development, Literacy Development, Brain Development, Memory and Written Expression.


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NASBE (The National Association of State Boards of Education) in the USA describe it this way:

  • Cognitive and Motor Skills Development: Because handwriting is a complex skill that involves both cognitive and fine motor skills, direct instruction is required to learn handwriting (it is not good enough to just give a workbook to students and hope for the best). However, the result of good instruction is that students are benefited both in their cognitive development and in developing motor skills.
  • Literacy Development: Handwriting is a foundational skill that can influence students' reading, writing, language use, and critical thinking. Students without consistent exposure to handwriting are more likely to have problems retrieving letters from memory; spelling accurately; extracting meaning from text or lecture; and interpreting the context of words and phrases.
  • Brain Development: The sequential hand movements used in handwriting activate the regions of the brain associated with thinking, short-term memory, and language. In addition, according to Virginia Berninger, Ph.D., professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, cursive in particular is linked with brain functions around self-regulation and mental organisation. 'Cursive helps you connect things,' Dr. Berninger said in an interview.
  • Memory: The act of handwriting helps students (and adults) retain information more effectively than when keyboarding, mostly likely because handwriting involves more complex motor functions and takes a bit longer. One study comparing students who took notes by hand versus classmates who took notes by computer found that the hand writers exhibited better comprehension of the content and were more attentive and involved during the class discussions.
  • Written Expression: Elementary-age students who wrote compositions by hand rather than by keyboarding, one researcher found, wrote faster, wrote longer pieces, and expressed more ideas.



Read Also: 7 Amazing Handwriting Examples



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