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What Happens To Kids' Brains When They Don't Learn Handwriting?

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#1 Jordan N

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 22:57

New research is starting to show us the real purpose of handwriting—and it has to do with the way our brains process tasks.

An inteview with Hetty Roessingh, Professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary (Podcast): https://thebigstoryp...g-how-to-write/

 


 
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#2 Karmachanic

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 08:23

The cognitive benefit of handwriting has been known for some time.

The purpose of handwriting, from its inception, has been to record and impart information.

Having received primary, secondary and tertiary education at a time when cursive was the norm, I did not and do not find it "annoying and painful." That description, in my case, applies to the keyboard.

Didn't listen to the podcast.


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#3 ParramattaPaul

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 13:35

I believe that research at universities in Pennsylvania and Minnesota have produced similar evidence.

As memory serves from my readings of at least 5 years ago, the process of forming the letters by hand produces a cognitive function that enhances the memory process amongst other things. Keyboarding doesn't provide the same result.

The takeaway from this is that if one wants to better remember something; write it down.

#4 Timotheus

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 14:23

This could very well be true, but should not be exaggerated. In the days of olim most rulers and army commanders were illiterate, yet their brains "processed tasks" flawlessly.


Edited by Timotheus, 08 September 2019 - 14:23.

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#5 Karmachanic

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 15:36

most rulers and army commanders were illiterate,

 

 

Wot? Like Caesar, Cincinatus, Cyrus and Cato?


Edited by Karmachanic, 08 September 2019 - 15:40.

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#6 Timotheus

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 17:53

Caesar, Cato and others like for instance Sallust all belong to the period after the Roman conquest of Greece and the hellenization of Roman culture, and were of course highly educated. But they were the exceptions. Cincinnatus is a semi-mythical figure; but the Romans of his early days were certainly illiterate barbarians when compared to the Greeks. Cyrus as depicted by Xenophon is a highly idealized figure.

 

But most rulers and commanders of both Antiquity and the Middle Ages, including Charlemagne, were illiterate or at best semi-literate. Yet there was nothing wrong with their brains.


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“As for the qualities of which you may know, ‘These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’: You may definitely hold, ‘This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.’”


#7 ParramattaPaul

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 19:20

I suspect that your assertion is exaggerated given that their social position (nobility and ruling class) allowed access to education (primarily from clerics during the Middle Ages).

#8 Karmachanic

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 19:41

 

 

But most rulers and commanders of both Antiquity and the Middle Ages, including Charlemagne, were illiterate or at best semi-literate. Yet there was nothing wrong with their brains.

 

:lol: :lticaptd:


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#9 txomsy

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 13:39

Medieval Treasure books. Difficult to look them up as too much noise pops up.

 

Whilst there were certainly many illiterate rulers, most would have an education, and in many cases, a proper one, so much so as to be literates themselves.

 

Until the fall of the Roman Empire, most lords were literate (and often philosophers and writers). Everybody knows of trouvadours, who were mostly knights and nobles in the late Middle Ages. Songbooks of the late Middle Ages were mostly huge collections of songs and poems written by the nobility.

 

I may be wrong, but in the early Middle Age, where one might surmiss education was less important, there were hand signed documents by warriors (often in a bad hand, but it implies they had learned to read and write although they didn't often).  That is the time when Charlemagne decided to unify writing. But also when the Arabs were translating all the surviving classical texts, and the Spanish translating all the Arab texts to Latin and re-diffusing them into Europe. So, there was a large flow and interest all over the World for knowledge.

 

Tradition usually was: first son inherits the land, second goes to the Army, third to the Church. Almost every family would have an educated son, it didn't make sense to educate the younger and not the elder who had to rule (and defend himself from his own younger brothers). What may make it unusual is that they would get their education in Latin and use Latin as the common language all over high-class Europe.

 

That's were Treasure books come in: these are the texts used by nobility to educate their sons, which were referred to as "Treasure" for it was held that there was no treasure greater than education.

 

Yes, there were dark ages, but they were not widespread, and by looking at how they lived and comparing them to their more illustrated neighbours one can guess that illiteracy didn't make them as sucessful.

 

Even so: that you can do something without other thing (e.g. being dexterous, losing your right arm, that you can still write with your left) doesn't mean that lacking that other thing (the right arm) is meaningless, only that there may be alternative compensating mechanisms (like a left arm). It doesn't mean either that having that other thing is meaningless (if you can write with your left hand, what's the advantage in learning with the right hand?), for it may still provide an advantage (like having both hands over having only one) and missing it impair you.

 

From a cognitive point of view, everything is interconnected in our brain. Intellect is related to this connectivity. The more areas of your brain you use, the greater the potential to unleash. That you exploit that potential or not is secondary, but the potential is there. Mens sana in corpore sano. Writing requires more complex movements than typing, hence it stablishes more connections. What you do (if you do) with these connections later is up to you, but you get a had start over something who hasn't them. Of course if someone does not write but plays music, he'll also be creating connections (albeit of a different kind) that will also contribute. Or if he plays complex physical games (like swordmanship)... Each activity will develop a different part of your brain.

 

A harmonious education will try to encompass intellectual (reading, music, arts, phylosophy...) as well as physical (sports, craftmanship, writing...) abilities. Ignoring one (e.g. hand writing) won't imply you will be automatically and totally dumber, you may compensate with other abilities, but you will develop less the abilities related to what you don't practice or will have to work harder to compensate for that lack.







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