Walking before running

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To think of teaching children regular handwriting before any cursive or running script is introduced appears commonsensical. But implementing such an idea in the Western education system is difficult.

It is believed that any handwriting must be cursive, regular script is only to be read in books and written with computers (and never by hand). The learning process then follows an illogical progress.

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Some educationalists believe that the so-called ‘print script’ is a non-cursive script. But by definition ‘print script’ is a cursive script.

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In support of the teaching of regular script as the starting script at school, we can take a look at how writing is taught in China.

In handwriting classes, before Chinese characters are introduced, different kinds of strokes are taught. Regular characters with strokes and stroke order follow progressively. Cursive writing is not taught at school in China, because it develops naturally with speed.

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Teachers couldn’t expect the children to understand the correct construction of characters if they taught only cursive scripts. Yet, this is precisely what we do in the West.

This would be the logical progress of teaching the roman script.

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