How Your Handwriting Affects Your Academic Performance

source: projectregards
10

Education is a necessary factor in the economic development as it is indubitably regarded as the bedrock of sustainable development in any nation. It equips the individual with the information necessary for high level of human functioning. Education is expected to train the mind of its recipient for effective performance. Adequate and proper acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills in school subjects and disciplines of study are invariably functions of quality education. To be regarded as educated person an individual needs to know how to read coherently and write legibly. Unfortunately, many students are not doing well in the school system especially because of their poor handwriting which has to do with the problem of expressing thought in written form. See List Of Undergraduate Projects Research Topics And Materials Handwriting is a language by hand, which is a useful reminder of its context and purpose. Handwriting is not an isolated activity; neither can it be seen solely as a motor activity. It is part of a language activity. There is handwriting that is clear and easy to read, and then there is handwriting that is hard to decipher. Bad handwriting sometimes includes sentences that are poorly punctuated, misuse of upper and lower case letters, words with incorrect spacing, and sentences that do not make sense. We write in order to remind ourselves of something we want to remember and to tell another person what we know as well as to let a person know what we want. Good handwriting in all school subjects including mathematics is a skill that is highly valued in our society, even in this time of computer technology. In the past, handwriting was prized because it was a primary form of communication as people needed to get notes from one another that ought to be legible. The ability to communicate ones feelings and ideas effectively in written form is truly one of the most important factors in academic process. Handwriting is the writing done with a writing instrument, such as a pen or pencil, in the hand. Handwriting includes both printing and cursive styles and is separate from formal calligraphy or typeface. The inability to produce clear and coherent handwriting is also known as dysgraphia. “Handwriting is a complex human activity that entails an intricate blend of cognitive, kinesthetic, and perceptual-motor components”. However, Students can express their knowledge, thoughts and feelings through writing skills. Writing is an entry level cognitive skill and it has an important place in academic success. In addition to academic life, it is necessary to have effective writing skills for business and daily life as well. The main purpose of teaching writing skills is to provide students with legible, practical and accurate (in line with spelling and punctuation rules) handwriting skill in addition to acquisition of necessary skills to express their feelings, thoughts and impressions in written form. TYPES OF HANDWRITING There are many styles of handwriting, but they are categorized into three major types; cursive, print, and D'Nealian. ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor's degrees represent academic achievement. Academic performance is also the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects. Teachers and education officials typically measure achievement using classroom performance, graduation rates and results from standardized tests. Academic achievement is important for the successful development of young people in society. Students who do well in school are better able to make the transition into adulthood and to achieve occupational and economic success. However, Students' academic performance is affected by several factors which include students' learning skills, parental background, peer influence, teachers' quality, learning infrastructure among others. HANDWRITING AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE Handwriting is tied to academic achievement. Poor handwriting often frustrates teachers and results in lower grades. Everyone has their own handwriting style, some neat and others barely legible. Research has shown that different handwriting styles have effects on how a paper is graded and the mark a student receives. A teacher who is frustrated tends to be biased when marking essay scripts. Essays that are harder to decipher require more time and effort. Some essays may be misinterpreted entirely, simply because the teacher misunderstood a word or a sentence poorly written. Sometimes the teacher might even give up as he tries to understand what a student has written. Poor handwriting is considered to be a sign of a poor quality paper. Hence, it can be inferred that students achieving higher marks tend to write better handwriting style than those who perennially exhibit under achievement. More so, the ability to communicate ones feelings and ideas effectively in written form is truly one of the most important factors in academic process. Poor handwriting can have negative impact on the success of the students in schools. Many students with poor handwriting are not able to write symbols well, and they cannot put their thought together coherently or write legibly in examination and as such it affects their overall performance in examination. A good handwriting skill is an essential part of teaching and learning, however, this has been ignored in many schools currently in Nigeria. In fact, the neglect by school authority to properly supervise students' handwriting is one of the contributory factors to students' poor academic performance in school. A student who has difficulty with handwriting spends more time thinking about letter formation when he or she should be thinking of words or contents to be written. Handwriting difficulty becomes a serious problem for students as they will not be able to express themselves accurately and legibly in a written form. Poor handwriting can have a pervasive effect on school performance because handwriting is a basic tool used in taking notes, doing classroom work and assignment. For instance, lack of automatic recall may reduce the mental resources available for learning advanced computational algorithms in mathematics; labor handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing, such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas. Poor handwriting can lead teachers to misunderstand what is written and prompt them to give low marks to students in examinations. Therefore, unless children learn to write legibly and at a reasonable speed, their educational achievements may be reduced and their self-esteem affected. Even in an era when elementary school students are adept at 'mousing' and teenagers are fiends at 'text-messaging' some experts, say that writing with a pen is still the backbone for teaching people how to read and learn facts. Handwriting difficulties can therefore weaken educational progress and interfere with learning. The evidence from various studies suggested that handwriting quality and quantity are strongly associated with examination achievement. Hence it is expedient on the parts of students to develop their handwriting skills at elementary school before proceeding to high school to ensure they get better marks. There is a link between handwriting and brain development which shows that sequential hand movements used in handwriting activate the regions of the brain associated with thinking, short-term memory and language. Poor handwriting shows serious consequences on early literacy and academic performance. Children who experience difficulty mastering this handwriting skill may avoid writing and decide that they cannot write, leading to arrested writing development .Handwriting is critical to the production of creative and well-written text affecting both fluency and the quality of the composition. Illegible handwriting also has secondary effects on school achievement and self-esteem. In conclusion, when students find it difficult to write legibly, it affects their overall achievement in school and hence weakens their educational progress as it often interferes with their learning.

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