Doug and Ana on handwriting & the SAT

I hadn’t thought of this (from Doug):

One of the many advantages of the days when secondary schools had shop classes was that among those sort of practical, skill-based classes was drafting. And a part of drafting was learning to letter precisely and carefully.

Of course, those were also the days of explicit and meticulous handwriting lessons in grade school.

And I love this from Ana:

My brother was always a math wiz in school, but one high school teacher gave him B’s–the horror! It was entirely due to neatness. He straightened up quickly, aced the class and went on to major in math in college.

With Ana’s brother, I have to think there’s a connection between the initial Bs for sloppiness and the math major in college — if only because discipline breeds discipline.

Our unconscious minds are a subject of endless fascination to me. I’m pretty sure that we ‘observe’ ourselves unconsciously in some way, so that if we see ourselves taking care we conclude that we do care.

Ana’s nephew may have seen himself taking pains to write his numerals and symbols neatly and concluded that math mattered.

One thought on “Doug and Ana on handwriting & the SAT

  1. My personal experience with various math buffs suggests an alternative explanation: a tendency of some math buffs to have *terrible” handwriting. Perhaps there’s a correlation with Asperger’s traits?

    For this reason, I worry a lot about the consequences of marking kids down in math for handwriting.

    Like

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