/Tag: handwriting

Handwriting matters


Some years ago, during the interview for a role as Head of English in a secondary school, all the candidates were asked to speak about what we would prioritise if we were to get the job. I have no memory of what I said, but I vividly recall one of the other candidates saying he would focus on improving students' handwriting. My bland inanities resulted in me getting the job; he didn't make the cut and was sent home after lunch. How we laughed. At the time it struck me that focussing on improving students' handwriting as a secondary English teacher [...]

Handwriting matters2018-02-13T14:09:04+00:00

Humans can't multitask


One of the highlights of my day at researchED Amsterdam was hearing Paul Kirschner speak about edu-myths. He began his presentation by forbidding the use of laptops or mobile phones, explaining  that taking notes electronically leads to poorer recall than handwritten notes. The benefits of handwritten over typed notes include better immediate recall as well as improved retention after 2 weeks. In addition, students who take handwritten notes are more like to remember facts but also to have better future understanding of the topic. Fascinatingly, it doesn't even matter whether you ever look at these notes - the simple act of making them appears to [...]

Humans can't multitask2017-01-23T13:50:53+00:00

The curse of cursive: Are we fetishising joined up writing?


Back in 2008 I had for a Head of English position. At one point during the morning, candidates were asked what aspect of English education was most important to them. I honestly have no memory of what I came up with, but I do remember another candidate saying that for him it was handwriting. He failed to make the cut. Handwriting really doesn't matter that much in most secondary schools. As long as pupils' writing isn't an illegible scrawl, teachers tend not to care too much about what it looks like. But this isn't the case in primary schools. My daughters both [...]

The curse of cursive: Are we fetishising joined up writing?2014-05-29T13:06:41+00:00