Writing is the Original Hands-on Learning
Before we had ipads, smartboards, apps, and AI, there were blackboards, slates, paper, and pen. The bland nature of this black and white system seems like it has little to offer in our modern world. Flashy programs and the latest tech promise brain development, lessons mastered, and ingenuity instilled. Want to learn deeply, thoughtfully, and more concretely, though, pick up a pen!
Writing uses parts of your brain that require more insight and analysis than high tech recording methods do. Turns out all that old fashioned copywork is actually cutting edge.
How Does Writing Help?
Have you ever found yourself in a lecture or at a conference and there was just so much good information being presented you wished you could just take down every word so you could remember? Turns out recording every word leads to less learning, not more. Writing is a slow process. Our modern sensibilities that prize speed prefer digital recording of notes for just this reason. Faster is better…or is it?
Slowing down to write engages more parts of your brain. It requires you to analyze, evaluate, and question what you are hearing. Typing records every word, but does not engage the higher level thinking portions of your mind. While you are writing your brain is learning not simply remembering.
Writing to Read and Speak
The teaching of handwriting has fallen by the wayside in recent years, the reasoning being that with more efficient means of taking notes and completing assignments, more time can be devoted to getting children ready for the 21st century of innovation. However, not learning handwriting is depriving children of vital, critical thinking skills that are even more important in our modern, complex world.
French psycologist, Stanilas Dehaene, observes,
“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” he said. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain, it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize.”
“Learning is made easier,” he concluded. (source)
Building Bridges Built on Writing
In our global economy. with the planet shrinking at our fingertips, speaking a second or even fourth language is a major advantage. There has been a great deal of emphasis placed on speaking a language first and foremost. Conversational ability has pushed the academic view of language study aside.
However, one of the greatest ways to develop and understand a language is by writing. Writing increases retention of new vocabulary and fluency of use. When writing an essay or longer assignment in the target language, the student is learning to converse by pulling together the necessary elements, creating a dialogue, writing it down, and then reading back what is writing. This process builds the skills necessary for regular conversation and takes a studied language from textbook level to conversational in a way no other study method can.
By understanding and being able to effectively use a second language, bridges to future development and education will be built. These bridges lead to a future of greater peace and inconnectedness of One Planet, One People.
Global Learn Day is coming tomorrow!! Be sure to have your pen and pad ready.