Research Increasingly Shows Handwriting Helps Students Learn, Remember,
Express Ideas and Perform Better in a Variety of Ways
(NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS)
MONTREAL, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - With a new school year starting,
Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) unveiled Project Learning
Curve, an effort to increase focus on handwriting and the research that
shows how much it benefits students.
As part of Project Learning Curve, Domtar has been working with software developers on an app. that helps connect
a digital pen to a computer, allowing teachers to measure students'
progress. The teachers can track how long students spend on
handwriting, or set classroom goals for students, such as writing
enough characters to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a fun way to
encourage students to spend more time handwriting, to engage both
students and parents, and to help teachers monitor the progress being
made at home.
Parents and teachers can learn more about Project Learning Curve and
watch a short video at www.paperbecause.com/projectlearningcurve. Anyone with the Anoto pen can also download the free app. Here's where to buy the pen and where to download the application.
"A growing body of research underscores the importance of handwriting
and the brain development it stimulates, yet a growing number of
classrooms have eliminated handwriting from the curriculum because of
the greater availability of technology," said Paige Goff, Domtar's vice
president of sustainability and business communications. "Project
Learning Curve illustrates how print and pixels can complement each
other in the classroom, giving students the best chance of success."
Researchers have found handwriting helps students learn, remember,
express ideas and perform better in a variety of ways. Consider:
Experts at Indiana University conducted brain scans on pre-literate
children ages 4 to 6 to determine whether printing letters, tracing
them or typing is the most effective method in the learning process.
The children tried each method, and then received a functional MRI scan
in a device designed to look like a spaceship. The results? If children wrote by hand, the experts saw neural activity in three
areas of the brain that was far more enhanced. These areas get
activated in adults when they read and write.
Good handwriting can play a role in classroom performance. It can take a
generic classroom test score from the 50th percentile to the 84th
percentile, while bad penmanship could tank it to the 16th, said an education professor at Vanderbilt University in this Wall Street Journal article.
A Florida International University researcher found a similar link. She looked at students' grades on fine
motor writing tasks in pre-K and their grades in elementary school.
Those who did well on fine motor tasks had an average GPA of 3.02 in
math and 2.84 in reading, a "B" grade. Those who struggled with fine
motor tasks had an average GPA of 2.30 in math and 2.12 in reading, the
equivalent of a "C."
Handwriting can also help older students. Psychologists at Princeton and
UCLA have reported that in both laboratory settings and real-world
classrooms, students learn better when they take notes by hand than
when they type on a keyboard. This difference does not necessarily stem
from the distracting effects of computers. Rather, writing by hand
allows students to process a lecture's content and reframe it. This
process of reflection and manipulation can lead to better understanding
and memory encoding, according to this New York Times article.
An article in Psychology Today, titled "Why Writing by Hand Could Make You Smarter," highlights similar findings. A professor at the University of
Washington, for example, studied children in grades two, four and six,
finding they wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when
writing essays by hand and not with a keyboard.
"Educators have noted that even after calculators were invented, schools
continued to teach math," Goff said, referring to a recent gathering in Washington for National Handwriting Day. "Why should parents and teachers treat
handwriting any differently?"
Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) designs, manufactures, markets
and distributes a wide variety of fiber-based products including
communication papers, specialty and packaging papers and absorbent
hygiene products. The foundation of its business is a network of world
class wood fiber converting assets that produce papergrade, fluff and
specialty pulps. The majority of its pulp production is consumed
internally to manufacture paper and consumer products. Domtar is the
largest integrated marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North
America with recognized brands such as Cougar®, Lynx® Opaque Ultra, Husky® Opaque Offset, First Choice® and Domtar EarthChoice®. Domtar is also a leading marketer and producer of a broad line of
incontinence care products marketed primarily under the Attends®, IncoPack and Indasec® brand names as well as baby diapers. In 2013, Domtar had sales of
US$5.4 billion from some 50 countries. The Company employs
approximately 10,000 people. To learn more, visit www.domtar.com.
SOURCE: Domtar Corporation
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