Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Writing On the Wall

The following article appeared in the New York Times on June 2 in the Science section: “What’s Lost As Handwriting Fades.”

I just read it a little while ago and I’m physically sick. Apparently (I didn’t know this, since I don’t have young children), kids today are initially taught to print in kindergarten and the first grade – then penmanship stops and keyboard facility is emphasized. Cursive (script) writing is no longer taught in an increasing number of schools, and many of today’s teens and those already in their 20s and 30s cannot read or write in script; they can't even print well. The Times article fully explains the horrendous affect that not learning how to write has on brain development and learning ability.

The article really is this post. I beg you to click on the link and read it, especially if children figure in your life in any way. You’ll also want to read it if you care about today's and tomorrow's adults having the capacity for in-depth learning and critical thought – both of which will determine how they can (or cannot) read, work, and be truly functional members of a globally-competitive society, which is to say, think about the impact on the economy this trend will have.

This is the steep downside of our culture's love affair with new communication technology and behavior that I'm always bitching about, and which makes some people think I'm a grumpy Luddite. Not so, and this article tells why. This is the canary in the coal mine, an urgent warning. It’s some scary, terrible shit. Please read it. Read it now. I can’t say anymore.

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