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Handwriting instruction in elementary schools

American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 60, issue 4 (2006) pp. 461-471

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Handwriting is an essential literacy and communication skill developed through a variety of instructional methods in elementary school. This study explored the consistency in handwriting instruction across grade levels in a Midwest public school district 15 years after the school initially implemented a uniform handwriting program. Additionally, the influ- ence of theCommonCore State Standards and Response to Intervention initiatives on handwriting instruction was reviewed. Participants included classroom teachers and personnel impacting handwriting instruction at the elementary schools. Data were collected using an electronic survey (n = 40) and individual, semi-structured interviews (n = 12). Survey results indicated that whilemost teachers followed the established guidelines, 24% still used other methods to teach hand- writing. Interviewthemesdescribedcomplexitiesof handwritinginstruc- tion, plenty of resources, and keeping up with changes. Advocacy for structured handwriting instruction, adequate practice, and application of handwriting during literacy activities continues to be a critical task for school-based occupational therapists.

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  • Asha V. Asher

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