What's Lost as Handwriting Fades


  Schools are always revising their curriculums to promote important skills, while less relevant skills receive little or no attention at all. For example, educators today don't teach students outdated ways of solving math problems because modern students have access to tools such as computers and calculators. Another skill that is being taken out of curriculums is handwriting. Traditionally, handwriting was an important skill taught throughout elementary education. However, in some schools, print handwriting is now only taught in kindergarten and first grade. Cursive writing, usually taught from second grade on, is no longer taught at all. Such conventional training is being cut to make room for computer skills and typing practice.


  A lot of people are unhappy about these changes, and first among those complaining are the parents of the students. Many of these parents fear that their children would face future difficulties if they never learned to read or write traditional cursive writing. Others are concerned that a lack of exposure to cursive handwriting will have a negative effect on their children's creativity and memory. A recent study conducted by psychologists at Indiana University showed evidence that these concerns are well-grounded. In an experiment, children were asked to identify a letter or symbol and then recreate it. The children were asked to draw the symbol, follow a pre-drawn pattern, or type it. When brain scans of the children were analyzed, those who drew the symbol activated more parts of their brain and also remembered how to recreate it better. From this, psychologists theorized that complex actions such as drawing improved memory development more than simple ones like pressing a button.


  As fewer and fewer students are exposed to cursive handwriting, the cost to future generations may be greater than we can now imagine.


手写能力衰退 孩子失去了什么?

  学校总是在修改课程以提升重要的技能,而比较不相关的技能便获得较少瞩目或根本不受关注。举例来说,现今的教育人士不再教学生用过时的方式来解数学问题,因为现代的学生可以利用如计算机和计算机等工具。另一项正从课程中移除的技能就是手写。传统上,手写是整个小学教育中的一项重要技能。然而,在某些学校,手写印刷体如今只在幼儿园和小学一年级教授。先前通常从小学二年级开始教授的草写体现在也完全不教了。为了让计算机技能与打字练习有发展的空间,这样的传统训练便被舍弃了。


  不少人对这些改变感到不满,而率先抱怨的是这些学生的家长。这些家长中有很多人都担心自己的孩子如果从未学过阅读或是书写传统的草写体,他们未来可能会面临许多困难。其他人则担心,他们的孩子缺乏接触草写字的机会,将会对创造力与记忆力产生负面影响。一项近期由美国印第安纳大学心理学家所做的研究证据显示,这些担忧是有充份根据的。在一项实验中,孩子们被要求辨认一个字母或符号,然后再将其重现。他们被要求用手画出符号、依照预先绘制好的图样来描出该符号,或是用键盘打出来。当分析孩子们的大脑扫描时发现,那些用手画出符号的孩子激活了更多的大脑区块,同时也记得如何将它重现得更好。从这个实验中,心理学家推论出象是画图这种复杂的动作比起象是按按键的简单动作更能增进记忆发展。


  随着接触草写字体的学生越来越少,未来的世代要付出的代价或许会比我们目前所能想象得更大。






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What's Lost as Handwriting Fades