We wouldn’t force our children to learn how to shoe a horse or use a spinning wheel. So why do we force them to learn to write on paper with a pen? As most people do almost all writing on a keyboard, surely handwriting is redundant? And yet we force students to learn this obsolete and esoteric skill. Indeed, we force them to practice it as part of their examinations.
Teachers appear to lament the failing handwriting skills of children. See here. But isn’t the better solution to recognize:
- Very few people communicate through handwriting (except at school);
- While it is useful to learn to write with a pen and pencil, it is not a key skill for our children;
- Spending time in school practicing handwriting takes away time that could be used to learn useful skills, such as improving written expression; and
- We should stop torturing our children by forcing them to hand-write exams rather than using keyboards.