Handwriting still plays key role in how we learn and express ourselves

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Washington, Jan 26 : Keyboard may have replaced it as an easier tool, but the traditional art of handwriting still plays a critical role in how we learn and express ourselves, according to a leading handwriting expert.

Vanderbilt handwriting expert Steve Graham says that handwriting is one of the basic building blocks of good writing and plays a key role in learning.

"Handwriting is one of the basic building blocks of good writing and plays a critical role in learning," Graham, Currey Ingram Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, said.

"Young children who have difficulty mastering this skill often avoid writing and do not develop as writers. They also may have trouble taking notes and following along in class," he added.

Graham has suggested that a return to regular handwriting instruction would support overall learning across subjects.

"Teachers need to continue to teach their students how to properly form and join letters," he said.

"We found that this sort of instruction takes place for 10 minutes or less a day in most schools, down from two hours a week in the 1950s," he added.

Graham discusses effective writing practices for students, especially for those who struggle with writing, how writing is taught, and the effects of handwriting and spelling instruction on the writing performance of struggling students.

He also offers guidance for parents on how to support handwriting at home.

Graham is an author of numerous books and over 135 papers on handwriting, writing instruction and learning disabilities.

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