Saturday, February 2, 2013
Why Handwriting is Important
No, I have not changed my view, or better: abandoned my skepticism about the claim that handwriting has definite cognitive advantages over typing (and thus computer software) in adults. But this does not mean it is unimportant. To write legibly by hand has definite advantages in taking tests. If you don't want to believe this, read this piece by Jonathan Wolff in the guardian. I can testify to the fact that, no matter how hard I try, bad (or barely legible) handwriting tends to influence the way I view an exam. The following observation by Wolff rings true: "Every examinee should be made to sit through the opening scene of Satyajit Ray's film The Middleman, where a brilliant student's plans for a career in the civil service are ended when his examiner is defeated by his handwriting and gives him an average mark. Whether the change is in my eyesight, my tolerance level, or student penmanship, reading exam scripts is becoming, for me too, increasingly painful."