“Schule” magazine: how handwriting helps when thinking
In Issue No. 3/2018, Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer explains why handwriting is so important. Learning to write is a complex process that – with the right support – is nevertheless worth it.
Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer: “when writing by hand, you use more than 30 muscles and 17 joints, which must all work together closely.” Many children find this difficult at first: they get cramps, apply too much pressure or adopt an awkward posture.
A survey conducted by the Schreibmotorik Institut and German Union of Teachers [Deutscher Lehrerverband] showed that 51 per cent of schoolboys and 31 per cent of schoolgirls have problems with handwriting. “This is catastrophic, particularly for secondary schools where pupils must write more and faster than in primary school”, says Diaz Meyer.
It is even more important for children to receive optimum support when learning to write by hand, because handwriting supports cognitive processes: “a total of 12 areas of the brain are activated when writing, which leaves motor memory traces behind – networks in the brain.”