“Handwriting supports the brain’s creative functions, which are extremely important for creative writing.”
-Emma Waldman, a grammar tutor from Essays on Time
The benefits and convenience of smart-devices (iPads, smart phones etc) in children’s education have been widely accepted and the use of such devices is increasing. However recent studies from two American Universities (University of California and University of Indiana) have found some surprising results around children who are encouraged to handwrite. The seperate studies looked at children who take hand written notes rather than typing them in class and to study as well as those who wrote essays and creative writing projects by hand rather than with a smart-device. The evidence collected indicates that children who choose to handwrite may benefit from surprising learning advantages.
Here is a quick synopses of the findings:
– The quality of a students handwriting is linked to their ability to learn and write
– Handwriting gives the children more time to focus and think over what they are writing about, potentially leading to a greater depth of understanding of the material and retention of what they have learnt. The typing process is more mechanical, although it may be quicker and allow more factual details to be entered, the conceptual element of what they are writing about is not engaged with to the same degree. This also leads children who type being more likely to forget what they have learnt within a week than those who hand wrote.
– The simplicity of pen on paper keeps the children focused on the task at hand (feeding into results in previous point).
Through hand writing, children are able to engage with more self expression than with other means of writing (typing).
How to encourage children to hand write:
Often younger children are happy to hand write, they are not as quick at typing yet and the novelty of writing is still in effect. However, as children age they may become more resistant. Try to engage them in handwriting around the home through writing the shopping list, writing their birthday wish list and hand written letters to relatives or friends and so forth. For teenagers, you could explain the benefits of handwriting and encourage them to take notes in a notepad rather than their laptop. Remember to praise children and young people for the quality of their handwriting and that they endeavoured to do it!
Information for this article was taken from the following website: www.heysigmund.com/handwrit-ing-creativity-memory/