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The past few days have been very interesting and hectic and I would like to share my findings with you.

"The state of Indiana, USA, has decided NOT to require the teaching of cursive writing this fall in the schools. " My friends Theresa and Bob and a whole lot of Graphologists thought of it as a bad idea, Some felt it could be used for research purpose (That idea I strongly reject) Is the keyboard completely replacing the pen?

Indiana school officials have announced that students will no longer be required to learn cursive writing, effective this fall.

In a memo to schools in April, state officials said schools can still teach cursive as independent school protocol, but students will be expected to be proficient in using the keyboard, The Tribune-Star reports.

District and school officials didn't find the announcement particularly surprising.

"The skill of handwriting is a dying art," [said East Allen County Schools Superintendent Karyle Green]. "Everything isn't handwritten anymore."

The Tribune-Star also reports that parents are worried about children knowing how to sign their names. The SAT and Advanced Placement exams also currently require handwritten essays.

This article truly is very depressing and talks about handwriting been more a curse than a boon. What a shame that the people are not aware of the true potential of Handwriting Analysis and using their Handwriting help them change their personality. We have many proofs as to how handwriting is useful and why cursive should be thought .

Research highlights the hand's unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key.

She says pictures of the brain have illustrated that sequential finger movements activated massive regions involved in thinking, language and working memory—the system for temporarily storing and managing information.

And one recent study of hers demonstrated that in grades two, four and six, children wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard.

Writing increases neural activity
A recent Indiana University study had one group of children practice printing letters by hand while a second group just looked at examples of A's, B's, and C's. Then, both groups of kids entered a functional MRI (disguised as a "spaceship") that scanned their brains as the researchers showed them letters. The neural activity in the first group was far more advanced and "adult-like," researchers found. It showed that learning had taken place.







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writing increases neural activity
“There's some pretty powerful evidence of changes in the brain that occur as the result of learning to overcome a motor challenge," says Rand Nelson of Peterson Directed Handwriting. The act of physically gripping a pen or pencil and practicing the swirls, curls and connections of cursive handwriting activates parts of the brain that lead increase language fluency.

This idea is echoed by Iris Hatfield, creator of the New American Cursive program. She also believes in the connection between handwriting and brain development. “Cursive improves neural connections in the brain, “she writes. She stresses that physiological movement of writing cursive letters “help build pathways in the brain while improving mental effectiveness.” This increased effectiveness may continue throughout a child's academic career.

R. Shadmehr and H. Holcomb of Johns Hopkins University published a study in Science Magazine showing that their subject's brains actually changed in reaction to physical instruction such as cursive handwriting lessons. The researchers provided PET scans as evidence of these changes in brain structure. Further, they also demonstrated that these changes resulted in an “almost immediate improvement in fluency,” which led to later development of neural pathways. As a result of practicing motor skills, the researchers found, knowledge becomes more stable.

Handwriting is one of the most difficult neuro muscular tasks. There are several basic brain processes involved in handwriting. Binocular teaming, or the proper focusing of the eyes, requires integration between the two hemispheres of the brain. Writing neatly on the paper is a fine motor activity which requires good hand eye coordination and good fine motor skill. Most handwriting problems are caused by a sensory integration disorder which inhibits coordination and integration between the many brain structures and systems involved in the writing process.

A fellow Handwriting Expert Theresa Oltega from Indiana has been following up this issue with the Indiana authorities and this is the link to her interview .Educators warn of negative effects of not teaching cursive

I feel that one must learn new things and technology is growing with leaps and bounds, but some things cannot be substituted and writing is far effective for the development of the brain to be considered a hassle. Handwriting affects our personality, our thought process and brings out our talents, or deep layered fears and study even shows that changing the handwriting has profound effect on the personality, also known as Grapho Therapy.

I hope this article is helpful to you, please leave your comments. You may contact me on faridahbharmal@gmail.com






 


Comments

anju
12/28/2012 2:07am

when do you think children should start rušivě editing? Is'nt it

too taxi for them as their hand mušce are not developer

Reply
Farida H B
12/28/2012 6:00am

Hi Anju,

Thanks for your question. I think your question is when should children start writing in Cursive and whether its to taxing for them or not.

Well I would say cursive writing can be started from the age of 7 where you need to assist the child while forming the letters, then comes age 8 where they will be able to complete their work with minimal assistance and by nine they will be able to do the work on their own.

We feel that children are introduced to cursive in a higher grade, but really, they are many exercises done by the teachers at school where like the zig zag lines, waves, garlands, and so on , in order to prepare them for the writing process. Very true, their writing muscles are not as yet developed, but handwriting is very helpful for developing fine motor skills and I would really advice parents to allow the children as much use of colors and join the dots books, as they are fun to do and also help in building up the writing skills of the child slowly, gradually and most important having fun all the way.

Regards,
Farida H B

Reply
12/31/2012 3:35am

Thank you for the strong emphasis on the cognitive aspect of learning to communicate by hand. How can educators ignore the research? and here's another: http://www.intechopen.com/books/advances-in-haptics/digitizing-literacy-reflections-on-the-haptics-of-writing
Does it matter which handwriting method is used? It might be even better for children to learn a simpler way to form letters that is legible at age-appropriate speed, and does not require learning two diverse alphabets. Check it out: www.bfhhandwriting.com

Reply
01/01/2013 3:53pm

Handwriting matters ... But does cursive matter?
Research shows: the fastest and most legible handwriters avoid cursive. They join only some letters, not all of them: making the easiest joins, skipping the rest, and using print-like shapes for those letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. (Citations appear below)

When following the rules doesn't work as well as breaking them, it’s time to re-write and upgrade the rules. The discontinuance of cursive offers a great opportunity to teach some better-functioning form of handwriting that is actually closer to what the fastest, clearest handwriters do anyway. (There are indeed textbooks and curricula teaching handwriting this way. Cursive and printing are not the only choices.)

Reading cursive still matters — this takes just 30 to 60 minutes to learn, and can be taught to a five- or six-year-old if the child knows how to read. The value of reading cursive is therefore no justification for writing it.

(In other words, we could simply teach kids to _read_ old-fashioned handwriting and save the year-and-a-half that are expected to be enough for teaching them to _write_ that way too ... not to mention the actually longer time it takes to teach someone to perform such writing _well_.)

Remember, too: whatever your elementary school teacher may have been told by her elementary school teacher, cursive signatures have no special legal validity over signatures written in any other way. (Don't take my word for this: talk to any attorney.)



CITATIONS:

/1/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, and Naomi Weintraub.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HANDWRITING STYLE AND SPEED AND LEGIBILITY.
1998: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542168.pdf

and

/2/ Steve Graham, Virginia Berninger, Naomi Weintraub, and William Schafer.
DEVELOPMENT OF HANDWRITING SPEED AND LEGIBILITY IN GRADES 1-9.
1998: on-line at http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/27542188.pdf

(NOTE: there are actually handwriting programs that teach this way.
Shouldn't there be more of them?)




Yours for better letters,



Kate Gladstone
Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works
and the World Handwriting Contest
http://www.HandwritingThatWorks.com

Reply
01/02/2013 7:04am

Hi Kate and Nan,

Thanks for your comments, I feel after having worked with children, that writing goes along with fine motor development and children today do not have as many opportunity’s for fine motor development as past generations did which is why it is more difficult for them to learn.

Terry Webb a very good friend of mine and Educational Kinesiologist, specialising in Lazy 8 assessment for students and business at Ceres Secondary School mentions


"The article about cursive writing is ABSOLUTELY correct and I am so glad that it has been submitted. I work with children with learning challenges and I see the problems with their holding of the Pen/pencil. The power grip is critical in writing , this needs to be addressed until the student is fully comfortable with grip. The finger positioning holding is also very important. Both hands need to be on the paper when the student is writing i.e forming a circuit so as to be able to express the ideas/thoughts to paper. "

It also goes along with attention and visual perception ie:hitting the line, spacing, stroke formation, but cursive in particular and attention span is very closely associated because the letters are connected and you can not stop and start at will it can aide children with organized thinking, inattention and help id those with deficits in the mentioned areas. It is so much more than a written form of communication for today's children because of the new challenges and various diagnosis. Maybe teaching it at a later grade would be more beneficial but removing it all together could remove a powerful diagnostic tool as children having trouble in handwriting usually demo problems in other areas. Another misunderstood and confusing question in today's education.

Very Briefly in points
 Handwriting is Brain writing
 Writing in Cursive helps to improve concentration
 It helps in the interaction with people.
 Writing increases neural activity
 Cursive handwriting activates parts of the brain that lead increase language fluency.(Rand Nelson)
 Cursive help build pathways in the brain while improving mental effectiveness.
 Writing neatly on the paper is a fine motor activity which requires good hand eye coordination and good fine motor skill.
 Our handwriting is like a pictorial representation of what is going on in our mind, how we think, react and create.
 It helps with other learning disorders like ADD and ADHD
 It stimulates brain Synchronicity
 Sequential finger movements activate brain regions involved in thinking, language and working memory. (Virginia Berninger)

Cursive writing has many more benefits than just a form of written expression. Handwriting is a basic skill, and one that has value and a place in the schools. I have seen many children, with a variety of diagnoses, that struggled with printing – whether it be formations, spacing, sizing, or orientation of letters on the line – and then they learn cursive and it works beautifully for them. Not only does the legibility of writing improve, making the final product easier to read, but there is also a direct correlation between the improvement and the child’s self-esteem; they no longer are struggling like they did with printing, and feel more comfortable than before. By taking cursive out of the curriculum, we are taking this opportunity away from these children. And that is wrong. I firmly believe that children should have a choice of which type of writing to utilize – print or cursive – after they have learned both. They should choose what is most efficient and functional for them, and what is most legible to others.

I would say that printing, typing, cursive are all important. They are all methods of written communication that need to be learned and mastered in order to be successful in today’s busy world. It seems easy to write off cursive writing as merely “artistic” and not necessary; but it is. The many benefits outweigh any reason to discontinue it in the schools.

Reply
Rowe Young-Kaple
04/02/2013 12:03pm


Our first hypothesized new discovery was that the spatial mind of one who displays these symptoms is processing direction of the sense of feeling sensations from a two dimensional perspective. This mind is capable of sensing both a top as well as a bottom side of a perceived object, directionally. This is when sensory contact for the object and sensory movement is required to understand it's meaning, and this can be felt from either it's top or bottom side, depending upon what part of the individuals body is feeling it's shape. And this determines its side of directional interpretation.

This is why many of these individuals have such a difficult time learning to use letters. They are simply controlling the movement for making the letters from their underneath side. This is by controlling the writing instrument with underneath parts of their hand writing position. As these are very common handwriting positions and work for those who do not have the condition, it has consequently been difficult to correctly identify the problem.

By using the easy to use physical, as well as behavioral tests developed, it now can be quickly identified. Rand Nelson's company (with over 100 years of experience) interestingly had also identified position problems independently and developed methods to help over come them. They had the history of the problem with the handwriting behavior and we had found the behavioral markers identifying why it was occurring. We connected the two identifications of the same problem from different perspectives.

Now, once identified, those with the condition are simply made to turn their writing hand over so as the palm of the hand now faces downward and the wrist is straight. And, the paper is turned away from the writing hand. This information is well explained in the manuals Peterson Handwriting Company has consequently developed.

The changes now produce a clockwise moving rotation, with a top/down sense for correctly feeling the shapes of symbols being produced. From a few longitudinal studies from our lengthy research, LD students, by using this new technique, have been permanently remediated.


Read our paper recently written, to better understand RPS and how to remediate it.

http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=16774

For complementary tests to both identify and remediate RPS prepared by Peterson Handwriting see:

RPS Testing Guide https://www.dropbox.com/s/aldx6i133v5s08s/RPS_Testing_Guide_v0052.pdf
RPS EXAM Kit
https://www.dropbox.com/s/sulzpx05p4huzxm/WLD-RPS_Examination_Kit0052.pdf
RPS/WLD Remediation Guide
https://www.dropbox.com/s/82e9mqaanmm84di/RPS_WLD_Remedial_3.pdf

Reply
04/02/2013 1:17pm

Having read Dr. Rowe Young-Kaple's work, I do not find it entirely convincing. However, I suspect that parts of it will prove to contain accurate elements.

Reply



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    Author

    Farida H B is a Graphologist and Therapist in this field for the past 6 years.


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