The Writing On The Wall

Good penmanship is more than just a quaint skill. A new study shows that it's a key part of learning.

By Raina Kelley | NEWSWEEK | Nov 12, 2007 Issue

clipped from www.newsweek.com

Many educators say yes, for reasons having nothing to do with thank-you notes. Handwriting is important because research shows that when children are taught how to do it, they are also being taught how to learn and how to express themselves. A new study to be released this month by Vanderbilt University professor Steve Graham finds that a majority of primary-school teachers believe that students with fluent handwriting produced written assignments that were superior in quantity and quality and resulted in higher grades—aside from being easier to read. The College Board recognized this in 2005 when it added a handwritten essay to the SAT—an effort to reverse the de-emphasis on handwriting and composition that may be adversely affecting children's learning all the way through high school and beyond.

Emily Knapton, director of program development at Handwriting Without Tears, believes that "when kids struggle with handwriting, it filters into all their academics.