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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

USEFUL TIPS: See Why handwriting helps you learn

Why handwriting helps you learn

Over the past decade or so, there’s been a fair amount of discussion relating to the impact that our omnipresent technology has on handwriting. Cursive handwriting is no longer a mainstay of elementary education as it once was, usurped by typing on laptops and tablets. Teachers with many subjects to teach and time in short supply often leave behind these handwriting techniques in favor of methods that will serve their students better as they move into a global, technology-based world.

Though grandparents may consider their grandkids’ writing to be horrific chicken scratch (even if they’re communicating via email more and more these days, too), there may good reason to keep teaching handwriting. More than keeping with tradition, studies have shown that handwriting stimulates the brain in ways that typing does not, helping make connections and learn new things, and effectively making you smarter.
The handy graphic below takes a look at some statistics on handwriting and explores how and why actually writing things out may help you learn more than typing the same things would. Check it out. You’ll learn a little bit about the brain, a little bit about how we learn, and a little bit about handwriting. Maybe your grandma was right about the fact that your handwriting looks like chicken scratch, but you should keep writing anyway!

Does handwriting help you learn?

  • 25-33% of children struggle with handwriting
  • 20% of children use ‘text speak’ when writing
  • In the UK, 40% of boys and 25% of girls aged 11 failed to meet writing standards
  • 33% of adults have difficulty reading their own handwriting
  • 1 in 6 adults in Ireland have difficulty reading written text
  • Beginning in 1992, the Irish National Teachers Organisation launched a handwriting competition. Students are judged on style, flair, and neatness of their handwriting.
  • Relative to typing, writing sees more activity in Broca’s Area and the inferior parietal lobule, which are involved in language comprehension.
  • Writing stimulates the RAS – the reticular activating system. This acts as a filter, ensuring important data gets to your brain.
  • When triggered, it signals to the cerebral cortex to pay attention to what is being written and absorb the information.
  • Repetitive processes like handwriting strengthen connections between neurons in the brain, making it easier for impulses to travel along pathways.
  • One study has shown that students who handwrite essays complete them faster and have more complex ideas contained within than students who typed the essays.
  • Another study shows that individuals are more likely to recall words that are written down on paper than typed.
  • Those who handwrite notes have been shown to have a stronger grasp on the material than those who type notes, even if they type much more.
  • Research suggests that learning to write graphically different languages (like music, Arabic, or Mandarin) aids adults abilities to identify shapes

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