When and how children should be introduced to the written language has been an ongoing debate for years. Handwriting instruction has traditionally played a central role in the beginning reading and writing instruction. However, with the increased use of digital devices, some schools choose to emphasize the use of keyboard the first year. This new practice of postponing explicit handwriting instruction alters our understanding of what written language is and how it ought to be taught.
The first aim of this project is to contribute with knowledge about how children write at school entry, as well as which skills that contribute to a functional handwriting. Therefore, it is relevant to examine how both letter knowledge and fine motor skills contribute to production of letters. The findings from this first study will then guide the second study, which will investigate how children best learn to recognize and produce letters. All in all these studies will contribute to a research based understanding of the role of handwriting during beginning reading and writing instruction.
The PhD project is affiliated with the DigiHand-project, which investigates the emergence of handwriting skills in the digital classrooms over two years, with school entry at the starting point.
Project period: 2018 – 2021
Camilla Lausund Fitjar
Supervisor: Per Henning Uppstad
Co-supervisor: Vibeke Rønneberg