“How Handwriting Trains the Brain” is an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal on October 5, 2010, written by Gwendolyn Bounds. The article’s sub-title was “Forming Letters is Key to Learning, Memory, Ideas.”
Apparently new research is showing that handwriting not only benefits children’s motor skills, but also their ability to compose ideas, and thus their ability to achieve goals throughout life.
Advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging have aided researchers in finding that writing by hand “is more than just a way to communicate.” The practice that helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.
Modern technology is blamed for the demise of handwriting. But studies suggest there’s real value in learning and maintaining this “old fashioned” skill, even as we increasingly communicate electronically.
Bounds points out that most schools still include conventional handwriting instruction in their primary-grade curriculum, but today that can amount to under an hour a week. Even at institutions that make it a strong priority, such as the private Brearley School in New York City, “…some parents say, ‘I can’t believe you are wasting a minute on this,'” says Linda Boldt, the school’s head of learning skills, wrote Bounds.
Bounds’ article reported that research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Brain imaging studies by Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, have shown that sequential finger movements activated massive regions in the brain involved in thinking, language and working memory—the system for temporarily storing and managing information. One recent study by Professor Berninger demonstrated that in grades 2, 4, and 6, children wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard.
It’s interesting to me that the more modern society looks down upon handwriting, the more science is showing how important it is to us. That to me means that handwriting is here to stay, and in that case, it’s a good thing our modern society now has the revolutionary UGLee Pen! If writing something by hand every day improves our over-all life then I’m all for it, and my ergonomic, comfortable pen is the perfect tool for the job.
(Photo credit – photobucket.com)