How Handwriting Trains the Brain: Forming Letters is Key to Learning, Memory, Ideas
-Wall Street Journal
October 5, 2010
Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, researchers are finding that writing by hand is more than just a way to communicate. The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.
Even legible handwriting that’s messy can have its own ramifications, says Steve Graham, professor of education at Vanderbilt University. He cites several studies indicating that good handwriting can take a generic classroom test score from the 50th percentile to the 84th percentile, while bad penmanship could tank it to the 16th. “There is a reader effect that is insidious,” Dr. Graham says. “People judge the quality of your ideas based on your handwriting.”
The Many Health Perks of Good Handwriting: Not Only Does it Help the Brain Develop, It Can Also Improve Grades and Confidence
-Los Angeles Times
June 15, 2011
Emerging research shows that handwriting increases brain activity, hones fine motor skills, and can predict a child’s academic success in ways that keyboarding can’t.
In Digital Age, Does Handwriting Still Matter?
-Wall Street Journal
October 4, 2010
Looked at your child’s handwriting lately (or your own) and thought it could use some improvement? Then did you wonder: Does it even matter in this age of digital correspondence? Turns out, it may.
How Writing By Hand Makes Kids Smarter
October 6, 2010
Younger Americans are typing or texting more and writing less, even in school — and that’s a problem when it comes to brain development.
Cursive Not Forgotten: Teachers Say it Improves Skills
-Columbia Daily Tribune
May 28, 2011
Janet Tilley, the district’s language arts coordinator, said although skills such as typing are important, it’s key for teachers to spend time on fluency in handwriting as well.
“We have not abandoned handwriting because of the research that proves its importance in the development of fine motor skills and in the cognitive processes needed for composition,” Tilley wrote in an email.
Creating Better Readers and Writers: The Importance of Direct, Systematic Spelling and Handwriting Instruction in Improving Academic Performance.
-A research white paper by J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D., and Steve Graham, Ed.D., re-posted with permission from Saperstein Associates
Handwriting wires the brain for literacy. Solid familiarity with the visual shapes of individual letters is an absolute prerequisite for learning to read. Writing aids in letter recognition, the most reliable predictor of future reading success.
Learning to write by hand plays a key role in developing literacy, and handwriting skills remain crucial for success throughout school. The mental processes involved in handwriting are connected to other important learning functions, such as storing information in memory, retrieving information, manipulating letters, and linking them to sounds.
A small investment in direct, explicit spelling and handwriting instruction can prevent years of frustration for students, teachers, and parents, and return considerable cost savings by reducing the need for later intervention.
Through this carefully planned, explicit handwriting instruction, students increase reading comprehension and develop legible and fluent handwriting. As students learn to recognize and reproduce letters in words quickly and effortlessly, their minds are free to concentrate on meaning. This allows them to generate, organize, and express ideas more effectively.
For Kids, Pen’s Mightier Than Keyboard
-U. WASHINGTON (US)
October 11, 2009
Children with and without handwriting disabilities were able to write more—and more quickly—when using a pen rather than a keyboard to compose essays, according to new research.