On one side it is artistically curved, on the other it is more jagged, it is sometimes expansive, sometimes crowded, leaning to the left or to the right: our writing is unique, no two are the same. But in the age of laptops, smartphones and the like, we write less and less by hand – we type. The keyboard has long since replaced the pen, increasingly also in schools. What does it do to our writing? Do we still need it except to sign? And how should children learn to write in school?

Stages of life reflected in handwriting

“Handwriting is the writing of the soul,” says graphic designer Susanne Dorendorff. “All stages of life are reflected in our writing. The artist finds it all the more regrettable that many people do not know this expression which is very much their own and that their writing tends to fade. As a writing coach, she helps those looking for guidance in finding their personal writing – especially their signature. She also supports students who have problems with writing.

His conviction: “When you learn to write, it’s not a question of being ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’, but of acquiring a technique of thought on which you depend.” According to the graphic designer, thinking and writing are inseparable. This should also be reflected individually. “We also have a style of language that is at the mercy of our emotions. Likewise, emotions and authenticity are found in the writing movement. And it’s about the ability to really train your expression.” She wants to awaken the pleasure of writing: “Just as we sing freely, we must also write.”

Children are left behind because of handwriting

“Handwriting is an indicator of what goes beyond the Wupper at school”, says teacher Maria-Anna Schulze Brüning. She has been teaching French and art to students in grades five to ten at a comprehensive school in Hamm for almost 30 years and has long noticed that her students’ writing skills are deteriorating. “More and more children cannot write legibly and often only with great effort. Cracked writing is no longer an isolated case, but has long since become the norm in the classroom.

The reason? “The cardinal fallacy is that elementary school children should learn print first, or they should acquire it themselves. They get used to misspelling the letters. And if you can connect any letter at any time, many people can’t put it together anymore. It’s adventurous. And many parents think: “My child has motor problems”. More than 50% of their CM2 students have no idea of ​​cursive writing and can’t read it either.

The results? “That means some kids are left behind just because of the writing, because writing is torture for them and they can’t read their own handwriting,” says the co-author of the book If You Don’t Write no, you stay stupid. .

Learning with a laptop is an important part of the lesson, but does not replace the ability to write: “Writing is more than just using the keyboard. Writing is the means of acquiring written language; it harmonizes motor skills and perception.

His request: “Every child must learn connected writing!” And whether it is in block or in cursive: “Children need professional supervision and specific practice! If they are refused, it is not only the writing that suffers.

Handwriting in the digital age: superfluous or important cultural asset?
Katrin Heise will discuss this on Saturday from 9.05 to 11.00 a.m. with graphic designer Susanne Dorendorff and teacher Maria-Anna Schulze Brüning. Listeners can participate by calling 0800 2254 2254 or by emailing gespraech@deutschlandfunkkultur.de.