PRE­SERV­ING THE ART OF HAND­WRIT­ING

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

KAREN G. MENDEZ

The ad­vent of tech­nol­ogy has gravely af­fected the art of hand­writ­ing or script as we call it. There is now the ur­gent call to pre­serve and sus­tain hand­writ­ing amid com­put­ers, PCs, lap­tops, tablets, smart­phones which makes chil­dren be­ing parted from the womb than from the elec­tronic ex­ten­sions of their iden­tity. It’s not a sur­prise. Homework, read­ings, news, chitchat, pho­tos, re­search, mu­sic, videos— from the Web un­winds the spool of their wired lives.

De­spite this, it’s not yet time to dis­card note­books with pa­per which punctuate young stu­dents’learn­ing more than we ex­pect. Note­books, with their leaves of pa­per, are the spa­ces where we learn how to write. Re­cent re­search has psy­chi­a­trists and neu­ro­sci­en­tists as­sert­ing that writ­ing by hand lets chil­dren read more quickly and com­mu­ni­cate more ex­pres­sively.

In an ar­ti­cle, “What’s Lost as Hand­writ­ing Fades,” Maria Kon­nikova of The New York Times re­ported that a study of chil­dren in grades two through five showed that those who com­posed text by hand pro­duced more words and ideas than those typ­ing on a key­board.

In brain imag­ing, those with bet­ter hand­writ­ing showed greater ac­ti­va­tion of neu­ral ac­tiv­ity in ar­eas as­so­ci­ated with read­ing, writ­ing and mem­ory.

Other stud­ies showed that, over trac­ing and print­ing let­ters, cur­sive writ­ing has an edge, such as train­ing self-con­trol.

The sci­en­tific link between pen­man­ship and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is even more sig­nif­i­cant for pub­lic school stu­dents. While the sit­u­a­tion sorely tests the stu­dents’en­durance, not to men­tion leg­i­bil­ity, the ex­er­cise with pa­per and pen­cil prepares them for a prin­ci­ple proven in lab­o­ra­to­ries and class­rooms: writ­ing by hand helps a per­son process a lec­ture and re­frame it in his or her w or ds.

The New York Times ar­ti­cle also noted that perfecting the art of pen­man­ship in child­hood ben­e­fits the adult’s skills in com­pre­hen­sion, en­cod­ing, re­flec­tion and mem­ory.

In­deed, hand­writ­ing and learn­ing helps a child think bet­ter, thus the need to pre­serve it as part of the ed­u­ca­tional process.

--oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher II at Northville El­e­men­tary School

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