In the dig­i­tal age, should schools teach writ­ing?

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

CUR­SIVE writ­ing may run off the page and out class­room doors if Australia adopts Fin­land’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary change to its ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

The Scan­di­na­vian coun­try stole head­lines last week af­ter it an­nounced plans to cut run­ning writ­ing from school cur­ricu­lums.

Fin­land’s board of ed­u­ca­tion said it was “more rel­e­vant to ev­ery­day life” for stu­dents to learn typing in­stead.

While there are no plans for Aus­tralian school sys­tems to fol­low suit, Isis Dis­trict State High School co-prin­ci­pal Brett Ka­vanagh said both skills were equally im­por­tant.

“I think there’s a place for both (cur­sive writ­ing and typing),” Mr Ka­vanagh said.

For Mr Ka­vanagh it is purely a hy­po­thet­i­cal ques­tion, given cur­sive writ­ing is part of the pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion syl­labus.

But he did make sev­eral in­ter­est­ing ob­ser­va­tions about the evo­lu­tion of writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“Even though stu­dents use de­vices a lot more now, touch typing is gen­er­ally over­looked,” Mr Ka­vanagh said.

“There was a time where we learned to touch type but in­stead that time is now spent learn­ing skills like Pho­to­shop.

“The art of touch typing has been lost.”

Childers State School prin­ci­pal Robyn Philpott said Fin­land’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem was cer­tainly for­ward think­ing.

“They would need dig­i­tal de­vices with them all the time,” Mrs Philpott said.

“I know they are very pro­gres­sive but I can’t imag­ine (a sim­i­lar plan in Queens­land) at this stage.”

Mr Ka­vanagh’s as­sess­ment was straight­for­ward: re­gard­less of which way they did it, chil­dren had to learn to write right and quickly.

When asked if peo­ple would gen­er­ate their own style of cur­sive writ­ing he agreed, but said typing and writ­ing could co-ex­ist.

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