Hot Potato: Food for Thought
Why Johnny Can't...
Handwriting or Typing?
1997 September 29
Handwriting was another one of those things that I didn't learn in school. I was the despair of my teachers. I couldn't print well, and as for cursive writing, well, one look at my handwriting today pretty much tells the story. Our grandparents had gorgeous handwriting. It was beaten into most of them and probably killed a lot of their enthusiasm for learning. Beautiful as it is, much of that handwriting is actually quite hard to read.

But why do we first teach children to print, only to explain a few years later that that's not how you really ought to write? I agree that kids probably should learn some means of handwriting, if only for when the power goes out. But why bother with cursive writing? If you taught kids how to type on the computers they have on their desks, in the same amount of time they would master a skill that guarantees perfect legibility and allows even a modestly proficient practitioner to put down words twice as fast as most people can write by hand. I always said that typing was the single most useful skill I learned in school.

How about adopting the Dvorak keyboard while we're at it?

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