Neatness is nice, but the ability to write fluently, using up few of the precious cognitive resources of your working memory, is critical to writing well.
But more important, he said, penmanship proficiency affects the fluency of writing, which can make a big difference for young writers who may forget what they want to say while they concentrate on remembering how to make the letters.
"Sometimes we are in the flow when we are writing, ideas are coming superquick to us," Graham said. "Think about a kid in first grade who writes 10 words a minute and is trying to hold in memory this whole sentence. The chances of losing ideas are much greater the slower your handwriting is."
The fluency, rather than the form of handwriting, is what matters most, Graham said.
"The issue, whether it is typing or cursive or manuscript or a combination ... is how fast you can do this," he said. "You don't want things such as handwriting and spelling taking up a lot of your cognitive resources."
October 24, 2006
Cursive nearly a lost art
Buried deep in this Delawareonline article on the death of penmenship, which basically serves as a platform for whacking NCLB, is the actual reason why learning penmanship is still a critical skill for children to learn.