Handwriting dives, assembly line teaching thrives

by Bruce Kasanoff on October 5, 2010

Great WSJ article today on How Handwriting Trains the Brain. Too bad our school district couldn’t care less.

Last week, we asked our son’s middle school to let the school’s occupational therapist work with him on his handwriting, which is horrible. The district forced us to initiate a special needs request, which they they denied because he does well in all his classes. (It’s not a problem, they said, he can use a keyboard.)

We pointed out that it may become an issue as classes get harder and he has to take notes. Not every teacher allows keyboards/laptops, and not every subject is conducive to typed notes, such as geometry and Mandarin Chinese. We’ll deal with it if it becomes a problem, the administrators replied. Huh? He has to fail before the school will help him?

We – parents and student – are requesting help, and the school says no. The real problem is that once kids get past elementary school, they are either “normal” or “special needs.” No one is an individual. This is assembly line teaching, and it is illogical and maddening. It’s so crazy, in fact, that I’m pretty sure this nonsense will soon disappear.

So why am I writing about this? The only way nonsense like this will disappear is if we push back on labels and rigid rules. Push back.

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