Mourning the Death of Handwriting

The cause of the decline in handwriting may lie not so much in computers as in standardized testing. The Federal Government’s landmark 1983 report A Nation at Risk, on the dismal state of public education, ushered in a new era of standardized assessment that has intensified since the passage in 2002 of the No Child Left Behind Act. “In schools today, they’re teaching to the tests,” says Tamara Thornton, a University of Buffalo professor and the author of a history of American handwriting. “If something isn’t on a test, it’s viewed as a luxury.” —Clare Suddath, Time (via Annette Vee’s Facebook posting)

2 thoughts on “Mourning the Death of Handwriting

  1. I agree that handwriting is in decline. I look at my own writing, and see how it has gotten worse over the years. Now it’s almost like a doctor’s chicken scratch. I have to concentrate on what I’m writing if I want to make it legible. I pretty much do everything on my Macbook; I even download handwriting fonts for my graphic design business.

  2. Most people dont own a tablet PC, but I can still see the argument that the quality handwriting is in decline. I, like most of my peers, take notes by hand, so legible handwriting is still prominent. I think one of the biggest risks of new media is that the writer might have a greater connection to their first draft when typed, as opposed to those who hand wrote their first draft and makes countless scratch marks and notes. The ones who hand write their first draft might have an easier time erasing some or all of the material. There seems to be a imaginary permanent connection when something becomes typed.

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