By Ian Lynch (PHS Class of 2020)
Schools spend a large portion of their time teaching the students to improve their handwriting. Students spend countless hours completing worksheets in an attempt to repeatedly train the skill of immaculate handwriting; however, is handwriting a necessary skill to teach?
Handwriting is becoming an archaic skill, becoming less and less important. With most tests being electronic and professors expecting typewritten papers, handwriting is becoming more and more insignificant. Even student’s notes are often electronic. With this in mind, should the time being spent on penmanship be devoted to other subjects?
Although there are many reasons why handwriting should not be stressed in schools, one still wonders what a world without personalized communication would be like. Handwriting is a way to express ourselves through language, so the loss of time devoted to skilled handwriting in schools could mark the end of a way to express ourselves. Furthermore, computers are not always available, so students will inevitably have to write by hand during school. If there is no emphasis on neat writing, this could become an issue.
When asked about the penmanship debate, Hannah Corkum, PHS health teacher stated, “I feel frustrated because it’s hard to determine what [the students] actually know” when she cannot read hand-written responses.
Also, handwriting gives writers and readers an intimacy with the English language. Scott Holliman, PHS English teacher and department chair, stated, “losing our skill to write would be a loss of humanity.” Holliman believes that the use of electronic composition lessens our connection to our ideas.
Both sides of the argument raise good points. What do you think? Is handwriting an essential skill to be taught, or can the time used teaching it be better spent? Write to The Polonius and tell us what you think!
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