Handwriting – what’s the point?

So we teach handwriting because exams require it – right? #ukedchat

stephen perse foundation

I recently enjoyed the opportunity to speak to several Year 11 students about their lives as so-called “Digital Natives”. The conversation was prompted by a Critical Thinking exercise where we interrogated an article which put forward several arguments – of varying degrees of merit – as to why we should continue to teach handwriting in a digital age. It was striking that these teenagers, the children of the digital age, were not yet ready to abandon the paper and pen. Equally striking was their reasoning.

One really engaging student from Macau was unequivocal about the cultural importance of handwriting. For her the characters in Mandarin and letters in English are integral to identity. To lose the individuality of the written word was akin to losing an important signifier of ourselves and our distinctive cultures. Keyboards, she argued, are functional but fail to achieve this more fundamental role.

Indeed, to a…

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