19 August 2016
Training HANDWRITING skills instead of copying: a recommendation from Dr Christian Marquardt in an interview with Austria Presse Agentur
For many children starting school, learning to write means struggling to “copy” accurately shaped letters. However, it is far more important to focus on handwriting skills from the very beginning. The majority of problems children have with handwriting are associated with underdeveloped handwriting skills.
“But we shouldn’t complain; we should actively intervene and promote fine motor skills with the appropriate exercises,” explains Dr Christian Marquardt. In order for children to be able to write fluently, their fingers and wrists must be able to move. They can train this with simple exercises. Dr Marquardt is calling for reorientation away from shapes and towards more handwriting skills in writing lessons. By exercising finger and hand movements with lines and curves, children learn the handwriting skills that they need to write fluidly – independent of letters.
Dr Christian Marquardt made the following comments on current discussions concerning abolishing German longhand or introducing a basic script, which would involve children developing their own individual handwriting directly from printed letters: “What is important is the way handwriting is explained to children. Then perhaps the type of lettering is not really the most important factor.” However, Dr Christian Marquardt finds the idea of completely dispensing with fluid handwriting very worrying.