30 years ago

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
These days when "joined-up thinking" is part of edu-speak, it was the move away from "joined-up writing" that exercised at least some experts 30 ago, as reported in The TES Scotland of December 6, 1974: A Glasgow working party of primary teachers set up in 1973 have recommended a change of handwriting style from linked script to the Simple Modern Hand as expounded by Tom Gourdie . . . Lack of effective teaching during the primary years, the report says, results in habits which impede both legibility and speed . . .

The report says many teachers felt there had been a deterioration in handwriting. Some dissatisfaction was expressed with the existing form of linked script. Many inexperienced teachers felt uncertain about what to teach and when to teach it. The working party felt that a change of style might help reawaken an interest in handwriting skills.

They sought a style which offered the basic utilitarian requirements of legibility and speed, the possibility of further development into an art form, and adequate resource materials in the form of commercially available teachers' guides, children's work books, and so on.

The style which seemed most adequately to fill these needs was the Simple Modern Hand.

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