Recently Finland announced that next August schools will stop teaching calligraphy so they will use those extra hours to teach things such as typewriting and writing on print letters. So, a debate has just arisen between nostalgic lovers of handwriting and supporters of technological devices.National Finnish Institute for Education took this decision after realising that traditional calligraphy is becoming more difficult to learn and that students hardly use it after school; therefore they made a practical decision: to focus on teaching how to write in print letters (a faster method compared to calligraphy) and on typewriting as well.Surprising as it may seem, a similar initiative is widely spread all along the US, where, according to the ‘Common Core Standards’, students are only required to practise handwriting until the age of seven. On the other hand, once they have reached that age they are rather asked to learn to type faster, leaving handwriting on a secondary level.It is true that we hardly practise handwriting today, so computers, tablets, and even smartphones are replacing pen and paper when doing tasks such as taking notes in a meeting, or making our shopping list. And it is also true, but no less impressive, that nowadays there are more and more Apps and tools that imitate digital versions of handwriting. Some examples would be the special mouse used by graphic designers, in which a digital pen executes the actions, or some Apps reproducing handwriting in different mobile device.Finally, beyond the romantic aspect of handwriting, some researches made on a psychological and neuronal basis report that our brain does process letters better when they are being handwritten. Besides, while doing handwriting, information processing becomes a major tool for understanding and memorizing. So, don’t get rid of your pens and pencils yet, you better save some for special occasions or for tasks which may require your full attention.
“Writing does not come out of magic, but out of determination”
Richard North Patterson