[Curriculum Directors] Proposed addition to the Utah Core Standards

Cook, Tricia M. Tricia.Cook at schools.utah.gov
Tue Apr 9 08:54:02 MDT 2013


Last fall, the State Board of Education asked USOE to review the research on handwriting and make a determination about amending the Core Standards. As a state, we wanted to make a decision that was supported by research and was in the best interest of our students.

As the committee reviewed the research on current understandings of student learning, brain research, and literacy development, it was determined that handwriting (manuscript and cursive) is an important skill for students to learn. Explicit teaching and practice of writing allows students to assimilate correct letter formation and make the act of writing unconscious; this reduces their cognitive load when they begin to compose. Fluent writers are able to focus on generating ideas, producing grammatically correct text, and considering audience.

Even in a technology-based world, handwriting is important to support the creation of ideas and cognitive thinking. Keyboarding is an important skill, but putting the letters into the orthographic-motor memory is what helps students to compose and do higher-level work. Automatic writing also helps students become faster and more efficient as they develop their own hybrid of manuscript and cursive.

This is not meant to be an onerous burden on teachers: research shows that 50-100 minutes a week of teaching and distributed practice are sufficient to develop writers.

The proposed language to be added to the Utah Core Standards and an opportunity for public comment can be found at: http://schools.utah.gov/curr/langartelem/. The current Utah Core Standards can be viewed at: http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/langartsec/Language-Arts-Secondary-Home/LangArts-CE-web.aspx

Comments will be summarized and presented to the State Board of Education on June 7, 2013.

Thank you for your input.

Tiffany Hall
K-12 Literacy Coordinator
Teaching and Learning
Utah State Office of Education
Please note: Utah has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state employees regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your email communication may be subject to public disclosure.



Emily Sweeten
Executive Secretary
Teaching & Learning
Utah State Office of Education
Phone: (801) 538-7785
Fax: (801-538-7769
www.schools.utah.gov<http://www.schools.utah.gov/>
Please note: Utah has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state employees regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your email communication may be subject to public disclosure.

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