PARENTS

School Replaces Handwriting Lessons With Keyboarding

03/09/2009 16:07 | Updated 22 May 2015

pic by Debbie WebberOne of the hardest things about children and homework is not getting them to do it, although that is hard enough, but the advent of computers.

Now it's easy for them never to put pen to paper and to cut and paste to their hearts' content. It also makes it easy for parents to lend quite a hand.

The use of computers for homework is positively encouraged at my older children's school: a lot of the assignments require the use of power point.

While this is all very well, and I appreciate the working world they enter will be different to the one I did, I worry about the implications when they have to sit their exams.

One school school district in Indianapolis, America, has taken this a step further and replaced handwriting lessons with ones in keyboarding.According to the Indianapolis Star, a letter was recently sent to parents of eight and nine-year-olds (third-graders) in Brownsburg, Ind. district stating keyboarding would be taught instead of cursive handwriting.

A district official told the Indianapolis Star that the move had been met with a mixed response.

"It is clear to us that cursive is becoming more obsolete.

"We are hearing equal amounts of praise and criticism on this decision, which we fully expected," said Donna Petraits, the district's director of communications.

However, not all penmanship will be totally eliminated from the curriculum at schools in the Brownsburg school district.

Third-graders will be taught how to read and write their names in cursive, which a survey in 2007 showed was still widely taught in America's public and private schools.

Researchers surveyed about 200 teachers nationwide in grades 1-3 for the 2007 study by the Vanderbilt University, of which 90 per cent said their school required handwriting instruction.

Do you think keyboarding skills should take precedence over handwriting in schools now?

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