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Back to the future with handwriting

With laptops and iPads replacing notepads in classrooms, Paul Stewart, the head of middle school English at Brighton Grammar believes that his Year 7 and 8 students’ handwriting has slowed, is messier and is causing them anxiety under exam conditions, the Brisbane Times reports.

“We have found that the writing has been in a constant state of deterioration … we are finding it hard to read and access what they’re thinking,” he said.

“Writing has become a sort of laborious chore, it’s getting in the way of the students’ thinking.”

It led Mr Stewart to start a movement at his school this year. He set aside 10 minutes in every English class to focus on handwriting.

The boys are encouraged to write as much and as fast as they can about a given topic.

The school has also installed floor-to-ceiling whiteboards in most of their new classrooms, to enable students to brainstorm ideas and plan assignments.

Mr Stewart said the new initiatives are aimed at building a culture of collaboration and confidence, as students practise handwriting.

He also wants to ensure that students sitting VCE exams and NAPLAN tests are not disadvantaged by missing out on handwriting time in class.

“My thinking was that if we can get kids to reclaim handwriting and do it on a daily basis it loses its significance.

“We want to make it part of their everyday activities, it’s more about getting past their hurdle of writing.”


Students reclaim the lost art of handwriting (Brisbane Times)