The pen or the laptop? Lobby group calls for more handwriting lessons


The education ministry has been urged to make hand writing a separate subject at primary school rather than treat it as part of general language lessons.

Lobby group Platform Handschriftontwikkeling has also launched a petition calling for more attention for handwriting, which it says is essential for healthy brain development.

‘We get samples of writing sent to us which are illegible,’ former teacher Aartje Schoemaker told broadcaster NOS. ‘So the children get lower marks and that is such a shame. If you learn to write properly at primary school, you have pleasure from it all your life.’

‘Writing is extremely important for brain development,’ he says. ‘By writing your brain makes links between left and right, you can concentrate better, you have better motor skills and you can think better. You could compare someone who hardly writes at all to a slow computer.’

Research has shown that college students who take lecture notes on their laptops remember less about what they have heard than those who write down what has been said.

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