Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Examining First Grade Teachers' Handwriting Instruction

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Examining First Grade Teachers' Handwriting Instruction

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study is to examine the first grade teachers' practices of handwriting instructions in terms of teaching, evaluation and handwriting difficulties. From qualitative research patterns, phenomenology was used. The study was applied to the 54 First grade teachers who work at central Burdur and Burdur county centre primary education schools. Interview is used while collecting data and content analyze is used while analyzing data. The results showed that most of the first grade teachers spare two hours of their active lecture times in a week for handwriting lessons. Students write letters: "e, c, i, i, o, ç, ö, u, l, y, ü, a" easily but have difficulties "f, k, r, H, b, z, s, m" letters while writing. Teachers teach the handwriting by making students write. In order to develop handwriting instruction first graduate teachers' handwriting lectures can be observed. By making practice especially on the letters whose writing are difficult, alternative writing ways of these letters can be developed. Handwriting scales can be developed in order for student handwritings to be assessed.

Key Words

Handwriting, First Grade, Cursive Handwriting, Handwriting Difficulties, Handwriting Evaluation.

Handwriting, one of the important skills of an individual's academic life, is taught by class teachers. Reading and writing are taught together. Method of teaching reading-writing also affects handwriting instruction. In Turkey, while the phones of the letters are taught in handwriting instruction going parallel with reading instruction, their forms are taught according to the phone groups stated in the programme.

Handwriting, generally, is one of the encounters of a child with reading-writing. A child learns knowledge about handwriting world by writing his/her name. Handwriting is the individual expression of a child's developing reading-writing skills (Dobbie & Askov, 1995) and should not be disregarded as if it is a simple task to these children (Hagin, 1983). Handwriting is a psychomotor skill taught by instruction. At first, children should learn about certain forms that are used, the ways of constructing these forms and how to fit these forms on the face. Feedback plays a crucial role in this learning process (Hamstra-Bletz & Blöte, 1993, p. 689). Students' successes in handwriting affected by handwriting instructions provided in the classroom as a result of the teacher's willing to teach that skill and these successes are shaped by the skill of the teacher (Graham et al., 2008). The most important items of handwriting instruction, as stated in the handwriting researches (Dobbie & Askov; Graham & Weintraub; 1996; Peck, Askov, & Fairchild, 1980), are; age of handwriting instruction, handwriting style, methods of handwriting instruction, handwriting equipment, evaluation, handwriting difficulties.

In Turkey, in preschool education, along with the activities like painting, drawing lines develop the small muscles; the main handwriting education is started in the first grade according to 2005 Primary Education Programme. In France, handwriting instruction is started when children are between 5 and 6. Before that, children are taught to write the simple components of cursive handwriting like waves. They expect 6 year-old children to write a sentence in cursive handwriting at the end of the preschool education (Vinter & Chartel, 2010, p. 477). Handwriting is started to be taught in preschool education in England, as well (Sassoon, 2003). In the United States of America, they start with manuscript handwriting in the first grade, and in the third grade, they switch to cursive handwriting (Armitage & Ratzlaff, 1985; Asher, 2006).

In Turkey, handwriting instruction is carried out according to the letter forms stated in the primary education program, and they follow these letter forms. In the United States of America, alternative forms of letters are placed in the methods of handwriting like D'Nealian (Thurber, 1995), Handwriting without Tears (Galanis, 2008), Loops and Other Groups, Zaner Bloser. …

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