Marianela Diaz Meyer, Udo Beckmann9 April 2019

Press conference: The VBE Verband Bildung und Erziehung and the Schreibmotorik Institut present the results of the STEP 2019 study

There is still a clear problem with handwriting. One in two boys and one in three girls have difficulties with writing.A press conference on the STEP 2019 study on development, problems and interventions in handwriting took place in Berlin on 9 April. Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer and the National Chairman of the VBE Verband Bildung und Erziehung, Udo Beckmann, announced the results of the nationwide survey of primary and secondary school teachers.

From September 2018 to January 2019, the Schreibmotorik Institut co-operated with the VBE Verband Bildung und Erziehung to gather opinions about handwriting acquisition from more than 2000 teachers from general-education schools via an online survey. They were asked for their views on problems with handwriting, the main causes of these, and potential courses of action. Part of the study also dealt with the question of whether and how handwriting can have a place in the digital age.

The results presented in Berlin show that once again in 2019, teachers have been seeing clear problems with and a worsening of handwriting and the skills it requires in recent years. Only four per cent of teachers are satisfied with pupils’ handwriting. One in two boys and one in three girls have problems with handwriting.

According to teachers, the causes of this are worsening fine and writing motor skills, a lack of clear guidance in the curriculum, a lack of time for practice, and a lack of routine. Increased individual support, more practice and the promotion of extracurricular activities involving fine motor skills are recommended.

Half of teachers have at least basic experience with using digital devices for learning to write by hand. Regardless: handwriting is useful and necessary, even in the digital age. Pen and paper remain the preferred media for writing. Three quarters of primary school teachers and over half of secondary school teachers consider smartphones to be between hardly and very badly suited for lessons. Half of teachers support the idea that handwriting can be integrated into digital media.

Press release: More time for handwriting! (PDF)

Detailed results of the STEP 2019 survey (in German) (PDF)


Speech by Dr. Marianela Diaz Meyer Speech by Udo Beckmann
Unteres Bild