In the News – Boys held back by reluctance to writePosted: 22nd of December 2014 by
‘The pen is mightier that the sword.’ – Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1839
In the news this week was an article based around a report conducted by the National Literacy Trust, titled Children’s and Young People’s Writing in 2013. Even though more boys than girls recognised the value of good writing skills to their job prospects the key findings of this report were:
- Boys are twice as likely as girls to say that they do not enjoy writing – 19.2%
- Only 21% of boys write daily outside of the classroom
- 19% of boys admit that they would be embarrassed if their friends saw them writing
So, is the art of cursive (hand) writing dying – replaced by word-processed documents and text speak? And should we be concerned about it?
Some people I’m sure will want to argue that word-processing is much quicker that writing by hand and that people favour sending text messages or communications via social media platforms than sitting and writing a letter for a friend or relative to receive but, is this the end of the story?
The benefits of writing by hand may well outstrip the convenience of digital communication. For one thing, when students enter the exam room and are faced with the prospect of writing for a least an hour this can simply prove too much for many young people who do not do it regularly, leaving them with sore wrists and the examiner with an illegible script to read. Clearly, this lessens the student’s chances of achieving as well as they might.
Other benefits of writing by hand are that it may actually help with spelling, with some arguing that a physical memory of the shape of words is stored – this obviously does not happen if you are typing. The other benefit might be that in writing out information, class notes in particular, in longhand – the same principle applies – there is a physical connection being made between the information and your brain – so, if doing this helps you retain the information that you need, why not exploit it?
The above are all very practical reasons for writing by hand — it may actually help your cognitive development and help you perform better in your exams – there are some others too though; the sheer attractiveness of good handwriting is a pleasure to behold and frankly only practise makes perfect. The National Handwriting Association raises awareness of the importance of handwriting and also runs courses.
Image source: Flickr.com/kim piper werker/cc by 2.0
When you are looking for an apprenticeship, or your first job, it’s probable that most of your attention will be focused on landing the role. ...
Applying for an apprenticeship can be a very competitive process and many organisations use video interviews as an initial screening process. Most...