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Writing by Hand to Create a Deeper Engagement in the Classroom

June 4, 2014

The following article was published in the summer of 2013. Interest has surged on the topic due to new research by Daniel Oppenheimer and his grad student Pam Mueller. In the past month, new articles about the value of handwriting have surfaced in The Atlantic, Scientific American, and The New York Times. It’s good to see that some are paying attention, but will it make a difference?

The Digital Realist

The following article was published this week in Teachers and Writers Magazine.

Writing by Hand to Create a Deeper Engagement in the Classroom

Greg Graham

In an age when digital literacy is viewed as the holy grail of education, and when teachers are urged to jump aboard the digitrain or get run over by it, Heather Sellers is one of the few voices bucking the trend, extolling the benefits she says come with writing the way human beings have written since they became literate: by hand.

Sellers, a professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, whichdetails her lifelong struggle with face-blindness, believes students who write by hand produce superior work, so she requires handwritten first drafts of each assignment. Sellers says she stumbled onto the fact that writing by hand can make…

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