VENTURA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 40 states have removed the requirement for handwriting training from the core curriculum of public schools. This might not sound like much of a problem in the digital age, where we spend so much time keyboarding; however, there are serious consequences to losing the skill of penmanship.
Mexico suffered those consequences when, in the 1980s, its president abolished handwriting training from schools. Some twenty years later, education officials realized that handwriting was to the children's benefit and in 2000 re-introduced it into the curriculum.
Recent research at the University of Washington reveals that areas of the brain having to do with learning, language, and working memory "light up" during cursive writing in ways that they do not with keyboarding or printed writing. Thus, public school children in the US who don't learn handwriting are at a disadvantage when compared to children in Mexico, or those who attend US private schools, for whom teaching handwriting is still seen as important.
The American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (AHAF), a 48 year-old non-profit organization, is encouraging the return of cursive handwriting to the US public school system. On January 23rd, National Handwriting Day, they will launch a new website, Campaign For Cursive. "The website will promote awareness of the need to keep handwriting in the curriculum, and show kids that handwriting is cool," stated Sheila Lowe, President of the AHAF.
The group is supporting Senator Jean Leising of Indiana, whose bill to return cursive writing to the curriculum is scheduled for a vote on Wed., Jan. 23. "Child psychologists, doctors and researchers have used neuro-imaging scans to show finger movement associated with handwriting activates regions in the brain linked to cognitive, language and even motor processes. In other words, cursive writing isn't just a good ability to have. Instead, we are now hearing that handwriting skills are crucial for success in school, basic development and learning potential in general," stated Senator Leising in an email.
SOURCE American Handwriting Analysis Foundation