The benefits of a fountain pen

Josh Giesbrecht, a public school teacher and writer from Canada, in a recent article in The Atlantic, rekindled the discussion on the importance of handwriting (see our posts here, here and here). But, with a twist. Giesbrecht suggests that perhaps it is not digital technology that hinders handwriting and its important benefits to learning and…

More on the importance of handwriting

I previously wrote (and here) and spoke about the importance to learning of taking handwritten notes, and of summarizing concepts with drawings and schematics. A recent article in Psychological Science provides further support for this notion. Researchers at Princeton report that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who…

Early music training can improve language skills

In a recent weblog entry I described studies that failed to demonstrate significant cognitive effects of musical training on cognitive development (except in children receiving intense musical training). There are important caveats to these findings: The number of children included in these studies is small; as a result, it is possible that small improvements in…

What Learning Cursive Does for Your Brain

Waldorf Education makes use of form drawings–freehand drawing of non-representational forms–throughout elementary school. It serves many purposes (discussed in the article linked above). One of these is to help develop writing skills, including cursive. Learning cursive, in turn, turns out to be critical for brain development. An interesting weblog post in Psychology Today explains why….

The effects of learning handwriting on the development of a child’s brain

A new study shows that that brain activity is influenced in different, important ways by previous handwriting of letters, versus previous typing or tracing of those same letters. These findings suggest that handwriting is important for development of brain areas critical for learning to read and write. The authors conclude that handwriting may facilitate reading…