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Opinion: The Finns will soon scrap the teaching of handwriting in schools. Should we follow suit?
MISTY ADONIOU THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 06, 2015 12:00AM
Do read the whole piece.HANDWRITING is dead, long live keyboard skills! So says the Finnish education system. From 2016, handwriting will no longer be taught in Finnish schools. And when a high-performing country like Finland makes an educational move, the rest of us who are slipping down the international ladder of academic performance should at least consider whether there would be any benefit in following their lead.
Should we ditch handwriting lessons too? Most would agree that everyone should at least be able to pick up a pen or pencil and craft a message that others can read. But beyond legibility, does it matter how you form your letters when you write?
There is research linking fluent handwriting with better written compositions. But the key isn’t the quality, form or style of the handwriting, but the automaticity of the handwriting. That is, the less you have to concentrate on getting your letters right, the more brain space you can devote to getting your message right. So your handwriting just needs to feel automatic and natural for you.
Writing automaticity is just as easily achieved on a keyboard. It is actually more time efficient to teach a child to type than it is to teach them a particular handwriting style. By the time they are eight years old, they can already type faster than they can handwrite.