Monday, December 11, 2006

Resistance is Futile

A school in Scotland is making students use fountain pens:
In this age of cell phones, text messages and computer keyboards, one Scottish school has returned to basics. It's teaching youngsters the neglected art of writing with a fountain pen.

There is no clacking of keyboards in most classrooms at the Mary Erskine and Stewart's Melville Junior School, although there is a full range of facilities for computer lessons and technology isn't being ignored.

But the private school's principal believes the old-fashioned pens have helped boost the academic performance and self-esteem of his 1,200 pupils.

"The pens improve the quality of work because they force the children to take care, and better work improves self-esteem," principal Bryan Lewis said. "Proper handwriting is as relevant today as it ever has been."

I love the last bit: "Proper handwriting is as relevant today as it ever has been." How can anyone possibly believe that? It's very possible that in a couple generations, there will be very little handwriting at all. Everything will be by keyboard and voice recognition. Is this a bad thing? On balance, I don't see why it is. Unless, of course, we lose our technology somehow, and can no longer communicate! So, perhaps it's best not to forget hand-writing altogether. But foutain pens seem a bit much.

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