Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Handwriting Matters, After All

June 4, 2014 By GRACY OLMSTEAD

Handwriting is largely viewed as an outdated skill: typing offers more efficient ease to teachers and students alike. The new Common Core standards, adopted in most states, only includes teaching of legible writing in kindergarten and first grade.

But according to new studies by psychologists, this recent dismissal of handwriting could have unintended consequences: the underrated skill is actually a boon to brain development and memory retention. New York Times reporter Maria Konnikova explained these studies in a Monday article:

When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas. And brain imaging in the oldest subjects suggested that the connection between writing and idea generation went even further. When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory — and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks.

… Two psychologists, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, have reported that in both laboratory settings and real-world classrooms, students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard. Contrary to earlier studies attributing the difference to the distracting effects of computers, the new research suggests that writing by hand allows the student to process a lecture’s contents and reframe it — a process of reflection and manipulation that can lead to better understanding and memory encoding.

read full article: Handwriting Matters, After All

children, education, study

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Filed under: children, education, study

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