A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Coming full circle again, and not a moment too soon

At last, some schools have decided to do something about students' atrocious handwriting.
Apparently a program known as Handwriting Without Tears promises a new method to help students abandon the chicken-scratch once and for all.
'It's not just about penmanship,' Heinricher said. 'Legible writing is very essential. Ninety percent of job applications are handwritten; there is also a portion of the SATs that is required to be handwritten.'

In the 1970s, Jan Olsen, an occupational therapist, developed and founded Handwriting Without Tears after her first-grade son had problems with his handwriting. Some of the techniques Olsen developed included the use of basic slate boards, Play-Doh, stamp-and-see screens, music, and body awareness in order for children to learn pre-writing and beginning printing skills.

Its hands-on approach to teaching handwriting is what makes Handwriting Without Tears unique, Heinricher said, where most school curriculums provide students with workbooks and they are taught to form letters by tracing or copying them.

The lessons are also very kid-friendly and fun. 'We don't want handwriting to be monotonous and boring,' Heinricher said.

What? Zaner-Bloser is BORING????

Remember how I talked once about how there's all these trends in education?


At 5/2/06, 8:55 PM, Blogger whoami123 said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at this infinate goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

At 5/3/06, 7:23 PM, Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Does the handwriting method work on 45-year-olds?

My handwriting looks like a poorly-educated second grader's. I swear, if I could change one thing about myself, that would be it.

At 5/3/06, 11:22 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I don't know, but my handwriting has changed over the years, and I don't know why.

At 10/14/07, 3:00 PM, Blogger KateGladstone said...

As a handwriting improvement specialist (working with adults, teens, and children), I haven't seen "Handwriting without Tears" working well with as many folks as the company would like you to believe.

For myself and for my students young and grown, "Handwriting without Tears" has not lived up to its name or its claims. (Quite a few of my clients come to me after non-progress and tears with "Handwriting without Tears.")

I have heard that others report good experiences with "HWTears" (as the web-site calls it: hwtears.com) — however, I have observed this: when people have trouble with "HWTears" and they (or their parents/teachers) call the company headquarters for advice, the "HWTears" staff members typically instruct the callers to "Please call back when you have success-stories instead. If the program isn't working, that's not our fault - it just means you need to buy even more of our materials exclusively" (or words to that effect). In one case (personally known to me), when a former "HWTears" user changed to another program and called the company to tell them why, the "HWTears" staff member replied: "If your students ever succeed with any other program, it will all be due to their previous training within Handwriting without Tears."

To me, such corporate attitudes suggest serious ethical concerns which must make one think twice about dealing with a firm that displays such behaviors.


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