Cursive As Calisthenics

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 17 2011 @ 7:12pm


by Chris Bodenner

As keyboarding becomes more prevalent in school curricula and is even replacing cursive writing in some states, researchers say that the exercise of writing by hand is itself crucial for memory and brain development. Danielle Magnuson magnifies the problem:

The motion of writing out letters and words and sentences by hand stimulates the brain in a way that keyboarding does not. Perhaps it is not so different than the way reading a book activates the brain differently than hearing the same information or watching it on a television screen. None of this is to say that computers and TV can’t be educational, but the tactile, memory-creating relationship between you and your language lessens once the re-creation of the letters by your own hand is taken out of the equation. Like math class, the brain-taxing work of penmanship is not simply about its practical application in daily life …