Tag Archives: How Handwriting Trains the Brain

Kobe University study: Japanese children learn to write through rhythm

6 Jul

Moi wrote about the importance of handwriting in The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum:

Gwendolyn Bounds reported in the WSJ article, How Handwriting Trains the Brain:

Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. During one study at Indiana University published this year, researchers invited children to man a “spaceship,” actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called “functional” MRI that spots neural activity in the brain. The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and ”adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters.
“It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time,” says Karin Harman James, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Indiana University who led the study….
Other research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

See, The Importance of Cursive Writing
http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/author.asp?section_id=1077&doc_id=236382 and The Case for Cursive

Robert Lee Hotz reported in the Wall Street Journal article, Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?

Laptops and organizer apps make pen and paper seem antique, but handwriting appears to focus classroom attention and boost learning in a way that typing notes on a keyboard does not, new studies suggest.
Students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes via computer, researchers at Princeton University and the University of California at Los Angeles found. Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques….
Generally, people who take class notes on a laptop do take more notes and can more easily keep up with the pace of a lecture than people scribbling with a pen or pencil, researchers have found. College students typically type lecture notes at a rate of about 33 words a minute. People trying to write it down manage about 22 words a minute.
In the short run, it pays off. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 found that laptop note-takers tested immediately after a class could recall more of a lecture and performed slightly better than their pen-pushing classmates when tested on facts presented in class. They reported their experiments with 80 students in the Journal of Educational Psychology….
http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-handwriting-make-you-smarter-1459784659

A Kobe University study examines the role of rhythm and learning to write.

Science Daily reported in Japanese children learn to write through rhythm:

How do we learn to write? Associate Professor NONAKA Tetsushi (Kobe University Graduate School of Human Development and Environment) looked at the development of writing skills in Japanese first-grade students learning the hiragana script. By quantifying their pen movements, he revealed the process of learning distinct temporal patterns of movement in such a way to differentiate a set of subtle features of each symbol. These aspects of handwriting development have been largely neglected in research carried out in Latin alphabet communities. The findings were published on June 13 in Developmental Psychobiology.
Previous research based on the Latin alphabet explains the acquisition of writing skills during childhood as a combination of two processes: the acquisition of visual representations and the development of fine motor skills to produce the desired trajectory of the pen. This study looked at the development of movement dynamics of handwriting in 1st graders at the Kobe University Elementary School who learned to write hiragana, a phonetic script used for Japanese. He examined how their movements were influenced by the social norms of the classroom environment in which those 1st graders participated over the first three months of the primary school….
This demonstrates that the process of handwriting development as explained by Latin alphabet-based research — acquiring fine motor skills in hands, plus storing the shapes in the head — cannot fully explain the handwriting skill development process for hiragana script. At least in this particular language community, learning the temporal pattern of movement corresponding to a letter seems highly important, based on which the invariant features of a letter — the traces of the specific temporal pattern of movement — can be discriminated as such. The study also suggests that the process of learning to write by differentiating physical movements may be linked to a phenomenon specific to Chinese character-based cultures known as “air writing,” when people unconsciously move their fingers while trying to recall a certain character. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170630105033.htm

Citation:

Japanese children learn to write through rhythm
Date: June 30,
Source: Kobe University
Summary:
How do we learn to write? A Japanese study looked at the development of writing skills in Japanese first-grade students, and revealed aspects of handwriting development that have been largely neglected in research carried out in Latin alphabet communities.
Journal Reference:
1. Tetsushi Nonaka. Cultural entrainment of motor skill development: Learning to write hiragana in Japanese primary school. Developmental Psychobiology, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/dev.21536

Here is the press release from Kobe University:

Japanese children learn to write through rhythm

June 29, 2017
Graduate School of Human Development and Environment

News

How do we learn to write? Associate Professor NONAKA Tetsushi (Kobe University Graduate School of Human Development and Environment) looked at the development of writing skills in Japanese first-grade students learning the hiragana script. By quantifying their pen movements, he revealed the process of learning distinct temporal patterns of movement in such a way to differentiate a set of subtle features of each symbol. These aspects of handwriting development have been largely neglected in research carried out in Latin alphabet communities. The findings were published on June 13 in Developmental Psychobiology.
Previous research based on the Latin alphabet explains the acquisition of writing skills during childhood as a combination of two processes: the acquisition of visual representations and the development of fine motor skills to produce the desired trajectory of the pen. This study looked at the development of movement dynamics of handwriting in 1st graders at the Kobe University Elementary School who learned to write hiragana, a phonetic script used for Japanese. He examined how their movements were influenced by the social norms of the classroom environment in which those 1st graders participated over the first three months of the primary school.

During the study, the children were repeatedly encouraged to pay attention to the specific requirements for writing each character, including stroke endings, stroke order and rhythm of movement. While he observed individual variation in handwriting development among six students studying in the same classroom, two common trends were quantitatively demonstrated. Firstly, the pen movements became clearly differentiated for each type of stroke ending (stop, sweep or jump). Secondly, a consistent temporal structure of movement gradually emerged for each stroke.
This demonstrates that the process of handwriting development as explained by Latin alphabet-based research – acquiring fine motor skills in hands, plus storing the shapes in the head – cannot fully explain the handwriting skill development process for hiragana script. At least in this particular language community, learning the temporal pattern of movement corresponding to a letter seems highly important, based on which the invariant features of a letter—the traces of the specific temporal pattern of movement—can be discriminated as such. The study also suggests that the process of learning to write by differentiating physical movements may be linked to a phenomenon specific to Chinese character-based cultures known as “air writing”, when people unconsciously move their fingers while trying to recall a certain character.

Journal information
Title
Cultural entrainment of motor skill development: Learning to write hiragana in Japanese primary school
doi:10.1002/dev.21536

Author
Tetsushi Nonaka

Journal
Developmental Psychobiology
Related Information

Graduate School of Human Development and Environment [Figures Omitted]

It is interesting that in Silicon Valley where many of the tech elite live, many of the top managers send their children to an “old school” school. See, The private school in Silicon Valley where tech honchos send their kids so they DON’T use computers http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2052977/The-Silicon-Valley-school-tech-honchos-send-kids-DONT-use-computers.html#ixzz2PjQ8sOfD

Matt Richtell reported in the New York Times article, A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute:

Three-quarters of the students here have parents with a strong high-tech connection. Mr. Eagle, like other parents, sees no contradiction. Technology, he says, has its time and place: “If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy, rated R movies, I wouldn’t want my kids to see them until they were 17.”
While other schools in the region brag about their wired classrooms, the Waldorf school embraces a simple, retro look — blackboards with colorful chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?pagewanted=all

There is quite a lot that researchers need to explore about how technology affects the mind and body connection as well as how technology affects interpersonal relationships.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Princeton and UCLA study: The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking

10 Apr

Moi wrote about the importance of handwriting in The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum:

Gwendolyn Bounds reported in the WSJ article, How Handwriting Trains the Brain:

Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. During one study at Indiana University published this year, researchers invited children to man a “spaceship,” actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called “functional” MRI that spots neural activity in the brain. The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and ”adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters.

“It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time,” says Karin Harman James, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Indiana University who led the study.

Adults may benefit similarly when learning a new graphically different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry, Dr. James says. For instance, in a 2008 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, adults were asked to distinguish between new characters and a mirror image of them after producing the characters using pen-and-paper writing and a computer keyboard. The result: For those writing by hand, there was stronger and longer-lasting recognition of the characters’ proper orientation, suggesting that the specific movements memorized when learning how to write aided the visual identification of graphic shapes.

Other research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

See, The Importance of Cursive Writing                                                 http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/author.asp?section_id=1077&doc_id=236382 and   The Case for Cursive                                                                                                     http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/us/28cursive.html?_r=0

Robert Lee Hotz reported in the Wall Street Journal article, Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?

Laptops and organizer apps make pen and paper seem antique, but handwriting appears to focus classroom attention and boost learning in a way that typing notes on a keyboard does not, new studies suggest.

Students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes via computer, researchers at Princeton University and the University of California at Los Angeles found. Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking techniques….

Ever since ancient scribes first took reed pen to papyrus, taking notes has been a catalyst for the alchemy of learning, by turning what we hear and see into a reliable record for later study and recollection. Indeed, something about writing things down excites the brain, brain imaging studies show. “Note-taking is a pretty dynamic process,” said cognitive psychologist Michael Friedman at Harvard University who studies note-taking systems. “You are transforming what you hear in your mind.”

Researchers have been studying note-taking strategies for almost a century. Not until recently, though, did they focus on differences caused by the tools we use to capture information. Note-taking with a lead pencil, first mass-produced in the 17th Century, just isn’t so different than using a fountain pen, patented in 1827; a ballpoint pen, patented in 1888; or a felt-tipped marker, patented in 1910.

Today, however, virtually all college students have portable computers; lectures are the main vehicle for instruction; and the keyboard clatter of note-taking is the soundtrack of higher education.

Generally, people who take class notes on a laptop do take more notes and can more easily keep up with the pace of a lecture than people scribbling with a pen or pencil, researchers have found. College students typically type lecture notes at a rate of about 33 words a minute. People trying to write it down manage about 22 words a minute.

In the short run, it pays off. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 found that laptop note-takers tested immediately after a class could recall more of a lecture and performed slightly better than their pen-pushing classmates when tested on facts presented in class. They reported their experiments with 80 students in the Journal of Educational Psychology….                                                                                                                                             http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-handwriting-make-you-smarter-1459784659

Citation:

A more recent version of this article was published on [06-04-2014]

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard

Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking

  1. Pam A. Mueller1
  2. Daniel M. Oppenheimer2
  1. 1Princeton University
  2. 2University of California, Los Angeles
  1. Pam A. Mueller, Princeton University, Psychology Department, Princeton, NJ 08544 E-mail: pamuelle@princeton.edu
  1. Author Contributions Both authors developed the study concept and design. Data collection was supervised by both authors. P. A. Mueller analyzed the data under the supervision of D. M. Oppenheimer. P. A. Mueller drafted the manuscript, and D. M. Oppenheimer revised the manuscript. Both authors approved the final version for submission.

Abstract

Taking notes on laptops rather than in longhand is increasingly common. Many researchers have suggested that laptop note taking is less effective than longhand note taking for learning. Prior studies have primarily focused on students’ capacity for multitasking and distraction when using laptops. The present research suggests that even when laptops are used solely to take notes, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing. In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.                                                                                                                                          http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/22/0956797614524581.abstract

Related:

Podcast

Prof. Daniel Oppenheimer on Why the Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard

July 4, 2015 0 Comment Glenn Leibowitz 1 min read                                                               http://www.writewithimpact.com/prof-daniel-oppenheimer-on-why-the-pen-is-mightier-than-the-keyboard/

It is interesting that in Silicon Valley where many of the tech elite live, many of the top managers send their children to an “old school” school. See, The private school in Silicon Valley where tech honchos send their kids so they DON’T use computers        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2052977/The-Silicon-Valley-school-tech-honchos-send-kids-DONT-use-computers.html#ixzz2PjQ8sOfD

Matt Richtell reported in the New York Times article, A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute:

Three-quarters of the students here have parents with a strong high-tech connection. Mr. Eagle, like other parents, sees no contradiction. Technology, he says, has its time and place: “If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy, rated R movies, I wouldn’t want my kids to see them until they were 17.”

While other schools in the region brag about their wired classrooms, the Waldorf school embraces a simple, retro look — blackboards with colorful chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?pagewanted=all

There is quite a lot that researchers need to explore about how technology affects the mind and body connection as well as how technology affects interpersonal relationships.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©

http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©

https://drwilda.com/

 

 

 

Will Cursive writing go the way of the dinosaur?

6 Apr

Moi wrote about the importance of handwriting in The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum:

Gwendolyn Bounds reports in the WSJ article, How Handwriting Trains the Brain:

Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. During one study at Indiana University published this year, researchers invited children to man a “spaceship,” actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called “functional” MRI that spots neural activity in the brain. The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and ”adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters.

It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time,” says Karin Harman James, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Indiana University who led the study.

Adults may benefit similarly when learning a new graphically different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry, Dr. James says. For instance, in a 2008 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, adults were asked to distinguish between new characters and a mirror image of them after producing the characters using pen-and-paper writing and a computer keyboard. The result: For those writing by hand, there was stronger and longer-lasting recognition of the characters’ proper orientation, suggesting that the specific movements memorized when learning how to write aided the visual identification of graphic shapes.

Other research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

See, The Importance of Cursive Writing  http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/author.asp?section_id=1077&doc_id=236382and The Case for Cursive http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/us/28cursive.html?_r=0

The Takepart.com article, Goodbye, Cursive Writing? lists the reasons cursive writing is important:

The Common Core State Standards for English do not require cursive. Some schools are electing to find a place for cursive in the curriculum, but administrators in many districts say that teachers don’t have time to teach writing along with everything else that is required.

Although typing skills are a must in a technological future, a legible signature is also still needed for daily life, say experts. Others argue that if students don’t learn cursive, how will they read historical documents? And what about the sheer personalization of writing?

Anne Mangen at the University of Stavanger’s Reading Centre in Norway has extensively researched the importance of writing with a pen. According to Mangen, writing by hand gives the brain feedback for motor skills. The touching of a pencil and paper ignites the senses. Mangen, along with a neurologist in France, found that different parts of the brain are activated when children read letters learned by handwriting.

Numerous studies show that daily handwriting lessons in schools have decreased from an average of 30 minutes to 15. Now they are on the verge of disappearing completely.

A 2010 study by the Carnegie Corporation of New York reported that students’ reading skills can improve if they write what they are reading in addition to them learning writing skills and increasing how much they write.

Vanderbilt University education professor Steve Graham, a leading researcher in this area, said in an interview last year with NPR that the brain lights up less with typing, a simple motor skill, than writing, a more complex one. But it’s not cursive writing, Graham argues, but simply handwriting. He also notes that cursive script could be taught in kindergarten or first grade instead of third grade because it’s not as elaborate as it once was.

I would make the case that we want kids to either be really fluent and legible in either manuscript and cursive or both, but also in keyboarding, and the issue is that’s three versus teaching two, you know, there’s a real push on time in schools,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Education recommends in its “Tips for Parents on National Writing Day” to teach children to print before attempting cursive.

But some school systems are bucking the trend of abandoning cursive. In Wisconsin’s Eau Claire School District, students are now learning cursive in second grade instead of third in order for them to perform better on standardized tests. Studies show that students who know cursive often excel on tests because they can write their thoughts down faster using cursive.

The debate on cursive is likely to continue as schools eliminate—and then reintroduce—penmanship to the curriculum. http://news.yahoo.com/goodbye-cursive-writing-225300486.html

T. Rees Shapiro writes in the Washington Post article, Cursive handwriting disappearing from public schools:

The curlicue letters of cursive handwriting, once considered a mainstay of American elementary education, have been slowly disappearing from classrooms for years. Now, with most states adopting new national standards that don’t require such instruction, cursive could soon be eliminated from most public schools.

For many students, cursive is becoming as foreign as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. In college lecture halls, more students take notes on laptops and tablet computers than with pens and notepads. Responding to handwritten letters from grandparents in cursive is no longer necessary as they, too, learn how to use email, Facebook and Skype.

And educators, seeking to prepare students for a successful future in which computer and typing skills have usurped penmanship, are finding cursive’s relevance waning, especially with leaner school budgets and curricula packed with standardized testing prep. So they’re opting not to teach it anymore.

It’s seeing the writing on the wall,” said Patricia Granada, principal at Eagle View elementary in Fairfax County. “Cursive is increasingly becoming obsolete.”

Michael Hairston, president of the Fairfax Education Association, the largest teachers union in the county, called cursive “a dying art.”

Cursive writing is a traditional skill that has been replaced with technology,” Hairston said. “Educators are having to make choices about what they teach with a limited amount of time and little or no flexibility. Much of their instructional time is consumed with teaching to a standardized test.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/cursive-handwriting-disappearing-from-public-schools/2013/04/04/215862e0-7d23-11e2-a044-676856536b40_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

See, Should cursive writing be required? A N.C. bill would mandate it http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/23/should-cursive-writing-be-required-a-n-c-bill-would-mandate-it/

Science Daily reported in the article, Better Learning Through Handwriting:

Together with neurophysiologist Jean-Luc Velay at the University of Marseille, Anne Mangen has written an article published in the Advances in Haptics periodical. They have examined research which goes a long way in confirming the significance of these differences.

An experiment carried out by Velay’s research team in Marseille establishes that different parts of the brain are activated when we read letters we have learned by handwriting, from those activated when we recognise letters we have learned through typing on a keyboard. When writing by hand, the movements involved leave a motor memory in the sensorimotor part of the brain, which helps us recognise letters. This implies a connection between reading and writing, and suggests that the sensorimotor system plays a role in the process of visual recognition during reading, Mangen explains.

Other experiments suggest that the brain’s Broca’s area is discernibly more activated when we are read a verb which is linked to a physical activity, compared with being read an abstract verb or a verb not associated with any action….

Since writing by hand takes longer than typing on a keyboard, the temporal aspect may also influence the learning process, she adds.

The term ‘haptic’ refers to the process of touching and the way in which we communicate by touch, particularly by using our fingers and hands to explore our surroundings. Haptics include both our perceptions when we relate passively to our surroundings, and when we move and act.

A lack of focus

There is a lot of research on haptics in relation to computer games, in which for instance vibrating hand controls are employed. According to Mangen, virtual drills with sound and vibration are used for training dentists.

But there has been very little effort to include haptics within the humanistic disciplines, she explains. In educational science, there is scant interest in the ergonomics of reading and writing, and its potential significance in the learning process.

Mangen refers to an experiment involving two groups of adults, in which the participants were assigned the task of having to learn to write in an unknown alphabet, consisting of approximately twenty letters. One group was taught to write by hand, while the other was using a keyboard. Three and six weeks into the experiment, the participants’ recollection of these letters, as well as their rapidity in distinguishing right and reversed letters, were tested. Those who had learned the letters by handwriting came out best in all tests. Furthermore, fMRI brain scans indicated an activation of the Broca’s area within this group. Among those who had learned by typing on keyboards, there was little or no activation of this area.

“The sensorimotor component forms an integral part of training for beginners, and in special education for people with learning difficulties. But there is little awareness and understanding of the importance of handwriting to the learning process, beyond that of writing itself,” Mangen says.

She refers to pedagogical research on writing, which has moved from a cognitive approach to a focus on contextual, social and cultural relations. In her opinion, a one-sided focus on context may lead to neglect of the individual, physiological, sensorimotor and phenomenological connections….

“Our bodies are designed to interact with the world which surrounds us. We are living creatures, geared toward using physical objects — be it a book, a keyboard or a pen — to perform certain tasks,” she says….

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by The University of Stavanger. The original article was written by Trond Egil Toft; translation by Astri Sivertsen. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119095458.htm

It is interesting that in Silicon Valley where many of the tech elite live, many of the top managers send their children to an “old school” school. See, The private school in Silicon Valley where tech honchos send their kids so they DON’T use computers        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2052977/The-Silicon-Valley-school-tech-honchos-send-kids-DONT-use-computers.html#ixzz2PjQ8sOfD

Matt Richtell reported in the New York Times article, A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute:

Three-quarters of the students here have parents with a strong high-tech connection. Mr. Eagle, like other parents, sees no contradiction. Technology, he says, has its time and place: “If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy, rated R movies, I wouldn’t want my kids to see them until they were 17.”

While other schools in the region brag about their wired classrooms, the Waldorf school embraces a simple, retro look — blackboards with colorful chalk, bookshelves with encyclopedias, wooden desks filled with workbooks and No. 2 pencils. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?pagewanted=all

There is quite a lot that researchers need to explore about how technology affects the mind and body connection as well as how technology affects interpersonal relationships.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                  Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                    https://drwilda.com/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum

24 Jan

Linda Shaw reported in the Seattle Times about cursive writing. In Roosevelt High School Teacher Gives Her Students a Review in Cursive

Sure, they learned cursive when they were in elementary school, but they use it so rarely that they’ve forgotten a lot of it.

Even for these students — high achievers taking advanced-placement Latin at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School — cursive is quaint.

“I never write in cursive,” said Annika Kounts, who struggled when she had to write a few cursive sentences as part of the SAT college-entrance exam.

“I gave up and printed,” classmate Kevin Tang said. “I started writing it in cursive, but it took me too long.”

Cursive is encouraged but no longer required in Seattle Public Schools, and Washington state’s education department doesn’t insist it be taught, either. That doesn’t mean early elementary-school teachers don’t teach it — the vast majority still do in Seattle and elsewhere. But as students use computers more and academic demands increase, many schools no longer devote as much time to cursive as they once did.

Roosevelt Latin teacher Nora MacDonald says it was about 10 years ago when she first noticed that fewer of her students used cursive for homework assignments. For the past five years, she said, almost all of them used block printing.

MacDonald last year became so annoyed with the state of her students’ handwriting that she asked her seniors if they wanted a short refresher in cursive. In some cases, their printing was so messy that she feared their grades on the advanced-placement Latin exam would suffer because graders wouldn’t be able to decipher their answers.

The students thought a day of cursive would be fun, so for the past two years, MacDonald has invited friend and retired third-grade teacher JoAnne Jugum to give a one-hour review.

According to Shaw, the teachers report that students who take pride in their writing take pride in their school work. Teachers are beginning to discover that cursive writing has education value.

Jaclyn Zubrzycki reports in the Education Week article, Summit to Make a Case for Teaching Handwriting

Doubt about the continued worth of handwriting skill is “similar to what happened with math as calculators and computers came into vogue,” said Daniel A. Domenech, the executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, which co-sponsored the gathering with Zaner-Bloser, a Columbus, Ohio, company that produces a handwriting curriculum. “People wondered whether students needed to learn how to do math. The answer in both cases is absolutely yes. Writing is not obsolete.”

Proponents of teaching—in some cases, reintroducing—handwriting in the school curriculum say their concern over the fading importance of handwriting became more urgent with the advent of the Common Core State Standards. The standards, which were released in 2010 and have been adopted by all but four states, mention keyboarding but not handwriting.

“The conversation about handwriting instruction has been growing,” said Kathleen Wright, the coordinator of this week’s event and the national product coordinator at Zaner-Bloser.

The company advocates that states supplement the common core with handwriting standards, as Massachusetts and California have already done. Ms. Wright said the conference, called the “Handwriting in the 21st Century?: An Educational Summit,” was timed so policymakers could address any lack of attention to handwriting while their states are still rolling out their own versions of the common core.

“As I talked to researchers, they were all saying the same thing in different ways,” Ms. Wright said. “Handwriting instruction needs to be done.”

Cognitive and Motor Skills

Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and a scheduled presenter at the conference, said that learning handwriting has both cognitive and motor benefits, and that letter formation is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/01/25/18handwriting_ep.h31.html?tkn=PRXFj%2FubPksj%2FGLUvp%2BYvyDm7ttFD1Wz8zVq&cmp=clp-edweek

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the skill of handwriting helps in cognitive learning.

Gwendolyn Bounds reports in the WSJ article, How Handwriting Trains the Brain:

Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. During one study at Indiana University published this year, researchers invited children to man a “spaceship,” actually an MRI machine using a specialized scan called “functional” MRI that spots neural activity in the brain. The kids were shown letters before and after receiving different letter-learning instruction. In children who had practiced printing by hand, the neural activity was far more enhanced and “adult-like” than in those who had simply looked at letters.

“It seems there is something really important about manually manipulating and drawing out two-dimensional things we see all the time,” says Karin Harman James, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Indiana University who led the study.

Adults may benefit similarly when learning a new graphically different language, such as Mandarin, or symbol systems for mathematics, music and chemistry, Dr. James says. For instance, in a 2008 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, adults were asked to distinguish between new characters and a mirror image of them after producing the characters using pen-and-paper writing and a computer keyboard. The result: For those writing by hand, there was stronger and longer-lasting recognition of the characters’ proper orientation, suggesting that the specific movements memorized when learning how to write aided the visual identification of graphic shapes.

Other research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html

See, The Importance of Cursive Writing http://www.enterpriseefficiency.com/author.asp?section_id=1077&doc_id=236382

Perhaps, it is wishful thinking. One cannot stop “progress.” Sometimes, everything old is new again.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©