Sunday, October 29, 2006

Handwriting skills in decline

A Washington Post feature confirms what you've probably suspected for years - a growing number of students cannot write in cursive (i.e. where characters are joined and angles are rounded), and even have trouble reading it. This can be traced mainly to the use of computers.
While the WP article is US-centric, I believe we're also seeing this trend in Malaysia. It's not as apparent in M'sia only because computer usage in M'sian schools is not as advanced as in the US. From the WP:

The Handwriting Is on the Wall
The computer keyboard helped kill shorthand, and now it's threatening to finish off longhand.
When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters.
And those college hopefuls are just the first edge of a wave of U.S. students who no longer get much handwriting instruction in the primary grades, frequently 10 minutes a day or less. As a result, more and more students struggle to read and write cursive.

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