A very interesting article was featured in the 6/3/14 edition of the New York Times, ScienceTimes section, “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades.”
According to some educational policy makers–not very much. Teaching “legible” handwriting is now required in most states only in kindergarten and first grade. By second grade emphasis shifts to keyboard proficiency.
Not everyone agrees that eliminating handwriting from elementary school curriculum is the right thing to do.
In a study that followed children in grades two through five, Dr. Virginia Berninger, a psychologist at the University of Washington, demonstrated that printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard are all associated with distinct and separate brain functions.
“When children composed by hand,” the article reports, “they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.”
Not every expert is convinced about the long-term benefits of handwriting. “With handwriting, the very act of putting it down forces you to focus on what’s important,” said Paul Bloom, a Yale psychologist. “Maybe it helps you to think better.”
What’s your experience? Do you “think better” when you write it down vs. type it on a keyboard?